Southeast Asia’s ridesharing war is spreading to a new frontier after rivals Grab and Uber revealed plans to expand into Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. Singapore-based Grab announced its launch in the country today, its first new market expansion in nearly three years, to take it to seven markets… but its U.S. rival wasn’t going to sit in the corner quietly. Digital ink barely dry on Grab’s announcement, Uber revealed that it too is moving into Myanmar’s capital city Yangon, albeit within a more ambiguous time frame of “soon.” Grab has initially launched its GrabTaxi service that connects licensed taxis with consumers who can hail a ride using its mobile app. In other countries it offers services including private cars, motorbikes on demand and carpooling, but this is a tentative first step. Backed by investors that include SoftBank and Chinese ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing, Grab’s last launch market was Indonesia in June 2014 — now that country is the main battleground in the region and the focus of Grab’s $700 million investment plan. Uber, meanwhile, appears to be aiming to strike an alliance with the government as part of its launch. That makes sense since Uber’s model — using civilian vehicles for commercial purposes — is still at… Read full this story
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