According to a report by CNBC, Uber is planning to sell its Southeast Asian division to rival Grab. For now, no official deal has been reached yet, and a timeline for such a move has yet to be revealed.

The move is similar to what has happened in China, where Didi Chuxing agreed to acquire all assets of Uber in the country. Uber also agreed to merge its operations in Russia as part of a joint venture, where 59.3% would be owned by Yandex and 36.6% by Uber.

The retreat from Southeast Asia is said to assist the company in cleaning up its financials on the road to profitability. In 2017, the ride-hailing company recorded a loss of US$4.5 billion (about RM17 billion) an increase of 60.7% from a US$2.8 billion (about RM11 billion) loss in 2016.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who replaced Travis Kalanick in August, had said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference that competing against local players was very difficult.

“I think the team ran through an inventory of where we competed, and if we compete on let’s say even on a dollar-for-dollar basis against the local player, paying the same amount to drivers, collecting the same amount from riders, in general where we are now is, if both players are kind of spending equally we tend to win share,” he said.

“We’ve got a better brand, we’ve got better technology, better network, etc. Whatever it is, we tend to win share. There’s certain markets, China and Russia, where that wasn’t true. And if your only competitive advantage, or the only reason you can be in a market is because you can spend money, that’s not exactly a reasonable proposition,” he added.

In an official release, Singapore-based Grab proclaimed itself as “the most dominant on-demand transportation platform in the region with a market share of 95% in third-party taxi-hailing and 71% in private vehicle hailing.”

The company also revealed it had secured up to US$2 billion (about RM8 billion ) in funding from Didi and SoftBank, with the anticipation of another US$500 million (about RM2 billion). This, it claims, is the largest single financing in the history of Southeast Asia.