Grab applies to impose new fee on Singapore ride-hailing services

Photo: Grab

Grab has applied to Singapore’s regulators to impose a platform fee of S$0.32, including GST, for users of its ride-hailing services, the Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said Tuesday.

“Grab submitted that it invests heavily to provide both passengers and drivers with a safe and pleasant experience on its platform. Grab submitted that this is a practice that is in line with ride-hailing industry norm,” CCCS said in a statement published to its website.

“A third of the funds collected through the platform fee will be committed towards providing benefits for driver welfare,” and the fee will help maintain and enhance safety measures, CCCS said.

Grab’s application comes as ride-hailing services have taken a hit from pandemic-related lockdowns globally. In the US, listed peer Lyft said its rides in May were down 70 per cent on-year, while Daiwa reported Uber’s gross bookings globally dropped 75 per cent in the second quarter.

Last month, Grab laid off about 360 employees, representing about 5 per cent of the company’s total workforce, citing the severe impact of COVID-19 on its business and the foreseen prolonged recession as a result of the pandemic. In May, its co-founder Tan Hooi Ling said the company was preparing for a potentially “long winter” as its revenues had taken a severe hit from the coronavirus outbreak.

CCCS is seeking public feedback on Grab’s application.

Grab is required to apply for regulatory approval of the fee under an infringement decision the CCCS issued against the company after it acquired Uber’s Southeast Asian business in 2018.

The CCCS had ruled the deal resulted in a “substantial lessening of competition” in ride-hailing services in the city-state and prohibited Grab from changing its pre-deal pricing or products without approval.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.