Washington Post reports:
There’s no doubt that Uber, a car-sharing service launched in San Francisco in 2009, is a booming business. With billions in estimated revenues, it’s now set up in more than 200 cities in 51 countries.
It’s equally sure, however, that the company has had its share of domestic controversies, from accusations of sabotage against competitors to suggestions that they would threaten journalists. Internationally, when dealing with different laws and cultures, the potential for new controversies is likely even higher.
It’s worth pointing out, of course, that Uber has often been welcomed in countries, and sometimes is viewed as a positive force (in Saudi Arabia some see it as helping women, barred from driving, become more independent).
The company has also shown a remarkable willingness to engage in lengthy legal and publicity battles to win over courts and the public.
But can any one company win so many battles?
The report goes on to list Uber's various battles, country-by-country around the world.
The taxi industry is facing what the music industry faced 20 years ago – a threat to their traditional business model from the Internet. They will try to do what they can to stop progress, but they will ultimately fail.
Uber cuts out the traditional middle man – the taxi company. It allows passengers and drivers to connect directly. This is great for consumers and also an opportunity for good drivers to build reputations and clients outside a company.
Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.