This is not the first time Uber has done this. Prior to this, Uber also sold its business in China after losing to Didi Chuxing, an online transport startup that successfully dominated the Chinese market.
Uber sold his business to Didi in August 2016. The agreement also allowed Uber to get a stake in Didi. By selling his business to a dominating competitor, Uber seemed to recognize their defeat.
Rather than trying to compete with rival companies, Uber prefers to invest in them in their quest for global expansion.
If Didi or Grab are successful, Uber will also get a profit and they can report the good news to the shareholders.
In the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology conference, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned that Uber could have made a profit if they wanted to.
However, they are at a loss for investing a lot in developing countries as well as research on developing autonomous cars.