As more people opt to ride-share, fewer want the hassle of owning a car. Source: Shutterstock/PR Image Factory

Grab, Uber eyeing Burma to expand ride-hailing empire

SINGAPORE-based Grab launched a trial of its ride-hailing services in Burma on Tuesday, aiming to expand to a seventh Southeast Asian country, while rival Uber Technologies Inc. said it was also looking to enter the market shortly.

Grab is working with a small group of taxi drivers in a trial in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, and would increase in scale gradually, the company said in a statement.

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Myanmar would add to Grab’s other regional operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Its US rival Uber operates worldwide.

Uber, in a separate statement the same day, said it was “very pleased with the progress we have made toward a partnership with the government in Yangon and look forward to introducing our ride-sharing technology in the country very soon.”

Expansion into Myanmar comes as authorities work to improve public transport, having for the first time introduced regular bus lines, timetables and salaries for drivers. – Reuters