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Uber and Grab take their ride on-demand battle to Cambodia

Jon Russell
Grab, Uber's Southeast Asia rival, now offers micro-loans and other financial services

Cambodia is 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.

Grab, which recently raised $2 billion from SoftBank and Didi, announced its 'GrabTaxi' licensed taxi service on Wednesday. Uber followed suit almost immediately with the launch of its UberX service a day later. The close launch dates are reminiscent of the way both companies arrived in Myanmar in March.

Uber may be synonymous with upsetting governments -- while allegations of bribery have also emerged lately -- but its recent moves have been more conciliatory.

As was the case with Myanmar, both sides appeared to have had dialogue with the government prior to their arrival. Cambodia's Ministry of Public Works and Transport posted photos of a meeting with Grab to its Facebook page, while Uber's press announcement included a quote from the ministry 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.