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Sharing Economy

Toyota and Grab unite to form Southeast Asian powerhouse

Billion-dollar investment to span finance and insurance as well as ride-hailing

The pickup and drop-off point for the online ride-hailing service Grab at the Manggarai train station in Jakarta.
The pickup and drop-off point for the online ride-hailing service Grab at the Manggarai train station in Jakarta.   © Reuters

NAGOYA/SINGAPORE -- Toyota Motor's $1 billion investment in Singaporean ride-hailing company Grab fully establishes an alliance between two power players in Southeast Asia's old and new economies.

Toyota has backed other ride-hailing startups around the world, such as Uber Technologies in the U.S. and China's Didi Chuxing. But the deal with Grab, announced Wednesday by both companies, is the biggest infusion in the sector yet by the Japanese automaker -- or by any traditional car manufacturer, for that matter.

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