South Korean Automaker Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday that the company has invested in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm “Grab” as the firm planning to expand in the region in order to reduce the reliance on China.
The Southeast Asian market is the world’s third largest market after China and the United States and this is the first direct investment of Hyundai in a ride-hailing firm. Grab is the Singapore based ride-hailing services company which has expanded to eight Southeast Asian countries.
South Korean companies were targeted last year in a Chinese backlash over the Seoul’s decision to deploy U.S. missile system regardless of Beijing’s objection. Since then, Hyundai’s interest to reduce the reliance on China has grown.
However, the region is dominated by Japanese automakers but Hyundai has focused China and United States so far. Hyundai is also focusing on future mobility by collaborating with other companies including ride-hailing, self-driving cars.
Hyundai and Grab both will develop services for Southeast Asia, including Hyundai’s eco-friendly models IONIQ Electric. But Hyundai’s investment value is not disclosed in this. Last week Hyundai announced its partnership with Silicon Valley start-up Aurora which excels in self-driving technology.
Grab’s latest financing round has raised $2.5 billion including Chinese Didi Chuxing, Korean Hyundai and Japanese SoftBank Group and Toyota Tsusho according to Grab’s spokesperson. Hyundai’s vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said on Wednesday that the company is planning to start a car plant in Vietnam or Indonesia.