Cambodia is set to become the newest battlefield for Uber and Grab’s ride on-demand battle after both companies expanded into the Southeast Asian country’s capital city Phnom Penh this week.
Word that Grab, which recently raised $2 billion from SoftBank and Didi, is preparing to launch in the city slipped out this week. A spokesperson confirmed that the company is conducting testing of its car service among selected users, but it has not launched fully yet because it has not received permission from the government.
Uber, meanwhile, has hit the road with the launch of its UberX service this week with government approval.
The company may be synonymous with upsetting regulators — while allegations of bribery have also emerged lately — but its recent moves have been more conciliatory. Uber’s press announcement included a quote from Cambodia’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport providing its blessing and comments from the U.S. Ambassador.
Cambodia becomes Uber’s 78th country, and Grab’s eighth. The duo’s arrival is likely to put pressure on local services which include Exnet.
Note: Post updated to clarify that Grab has not launched its service in Cambodia yet.