Uber announced that it will suspend its operations in Macau starting from Saturday, July 22.

The company cited inability to “secure a business environment” to “unlock the full benefits of ride-sharing.”

It also said that the company is “exploring ways to serve the Chinese-controlled territory again” and had started talks with potential business partners that include transport operators and hotels.

News about Uber retreating from the Chinese-controlled city first came into light in mid-2016, when a letter by Uber Asia Regional General Manager Mike Brown mentioned the company’s plan to exit the city.

The letter was uploaded to the official Facebook page of Macau legislator Au Kam-san; it also mexplained that Uber drivers in Macau had been fined MOP$10 million (US$1.2 million) during its short operation in the city.

But the exit from the market was able to be prevented after supporters took to the streets to protest the government’s crackdown on the service.

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The news came out only days after Uber announced the US$3.7 billion merger of its Russia operations with local internet giant Yandex.

A Bloomberg report briefly mentioned about the company’s “continued losses” in India and Southeast Asia, with investors beginning to “ask privately” whether it would be “better served by cutting deals with market leaders Ola and Grab.”

In Indonesia, despite being one of the three most popular ride-hailing services in the market, Uber failed to secure the top position as the most downloaded and actively used ride-hailing app.

A survey by US-based advertising agency Jana revealed Grab as most downloaded on-demand app in Indonesia, with Go-Jek having the more active users.

Uber app experienced “the most significant climb” between October 2016 to January 2017. Users who have downloaded the Uber app grew by five per cent, much higher compared to its two competitors. But by January 2017, Uber’s percentage stopped by nine per cent while Grab scored top position with 10 per cent.