Ride-hailing services have been major conveniences when they were first introduced in Malaysia. With our local taxi driver’s penchant for bad service and over-charging, the appearance of services like Uber and Grab gave us a great alternative with better service.
It’s been about five years since Uber was launched in Malaysia and four years since Grab (then called My Teksi/ Grab Taxi) launched its competing service and since then, competition between the two has been heated. However, all that competition is now ending as it seems the victor has been decided.
Over the past few weeks, there have been reports that Uber was in the midst of selling off it’s South East Asian business to Grab and finally, after long negotiations, the deal has been finalised. Uber is closing shop leaving all the ride-hailing business to Grab.
So what does this mean for us in Malaysia? Quite a number of things actually. Come April 8 your Uber app isn’t going to work anymore, at least in Malaysia or any other South East Asian country. So for any of your ride-hailing needs, you’re going to have to rely on Grab. Your data in with Uber will be transferred to Grab and you can pretty much uninstall Uber unless you’re headed to the USA or Europe or any other country that still has Uber.
Other existing Uber services will also be gone and that includes Uber Eats which has barely operated in Malaysia for a year. That isn’t much of a loss though as there are still other established options like Food Panda. For Uber drivers, they will become Grab drivers and the transfer of drivers to the Grab platform are currently being done over and should be completed by April 8.
More importantly though is fares. Once Uber exits the region, there’s only going to be one player in Malaysia and that means one fare structure, which is Grab’s. While Grab’s fees are reasonable, it was always good to have a competing service like Uber where we could compare prices. Occasionally we would get cheaper rides from either but now, there won’t be any more choice and we’ll have to live with Grab’s fees.
So, what do you think about Uber exiting Malaysia and South East Asia? Is it better to have one dominant service in the market, or should we have more competition?
Source: World of Buzz