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Uber broke many rules to increase business, used alliances with governments to its advantage

The report revealed how Uber broke laws, defrauded the police, used violence against drivers to its advantage, and colluded with governments to expand its business.

Uber Files: Today Uber is the world’s largest taxi service provider. Within a decade, it has spread its business to 72 countries including India and has become a $ 44 billion company. After all, how Uber has grown its business in such a short time, it has been revealed. According to a report, Uber used many unethical means to rapidly increase its business in markets around the world. This was said in the report released on Sunday.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a non-profit network of investigative journalists, scoured Uber’s internal files, emails, invoices and other documents. It revealed how Uber broke laws to expand its business, used violence against drivers to its advantage, and colluded with governments. The report and documents related to Uber were first leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian, which shared it with a group.

How Uber grew its business

According to the report, Uber lobbied political figures to relax labor and taxi laws, used stealth technology to thwart regulatory and legal scrutiny, diverted funds from Bermuda and other tax havens, and He used incidents of violence against his drivers to gain public sympathy. Uber spokeswoman Jill Hejlebeker acknowledged “mistakes” made in the past and said that 2017-appointed CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was tasked with “changing every aspect of Uber’s operations… when we say Uber”. Today is a separate company, so what we mean is that 90 percent of the company’s current employees have joined Uber after Dara became CEO.

According to the report, Uber, founded in 2009, offered affordable transportation through ride-sharing apps, bypassing taxi regulations. Uber adopted an extraordinary strategy to establish itself in nearly 30 countries. Among those lobbying for the company were many senior politicians, including former aides of US President Barack Obama. According to the documents, he pressured government officials to influence investigations, change labor and taxi laws, and relax rules for checking drivers.

Use of ‘stealth’ technology to stop investigation

The investigation found that Uber used ‘stealth’ technology to circumvent government investigations. For example, the company used a ‘kill switch’, which reduced access to Uber servers. In this way officials were prevented from obtaining evidence during raids in at least six countries. UberFiles reported that during a police raid in Amsterdam, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick personally issued an order saying, “Please hit the kill switch as soon as possible … Access to AMS (Amsterdam) must be closed.” ‘

used violence to his advantage

The report also suggested that Kalanick used violence against Uber drivers in France to garner sympathy. He sent the message to colleagues, “Violence is a guarantee of success.” However, Kalanick’s spokesman Devon Spurgeon responded by saying that the former CEO “never suggested that Uber should suffer violence at the expense of driver’s safety.” The Uber Files says the company also evaded millions of dollars in tax by sending its profits through Bermuda and other tax havens.

How Uber’s business grew in India

Uber’s service was launched in India in the year 2013 and it is one of the fastest growing markets for the company. About 6 lakh drivers of the company are working in more than 100 cities today. In August 2014, Alan Penn, the then Asia head of Uber, sent an email to the Indian team about his strategy in India. In it he wrote, “We have successfully completed one year in India. We have many local and national issues in almost all the cities here, but in the midst of all this, Uber’s business will continue to grow.”

Records show that Uber had colluded with the GST and Income Tax Department in India as well as the Consumer Forum, Reserve Bank of India and the Service Tax Department to expand its business. In fact, in September 2014, Uber prepared a presentation for its employees using India as a case study to handle service tax issues. It said that the Indian authority has asked Uber to show its passbook, else it will face a case of fraud.

Panic button could not be found even after 6 years

A few months later, in December 2014, an Uber driver raped a female passenger. After this incident, the Delhi government gave a red flag to the company. But, the top officials of the government blamed the license system for the drivers. An investigation by The Indian Express reveals that the safety feature that Uber claimed to have installed after the Delhi rape incident has not been implemented yet. For example, every Uber cab – like public transport and cabs have to have a “panic button”, which has not happened even after 6 years. Uber started damage control after the rape incident. Nayri Hordajian, who was then head of Uber’s communications unit, said in an email to his employees on December 11, 2014, 6 days after the incident – ​​remember that everything is not under our control. Sometimes such problems come, due to which we may have to break the law.

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