What are Uber Files? A Guide to the Taxi Company’s Cutthroat Expansion Tactics | Uber


The Uber files are a global investigation into a treasure trove of 124,000 confidential documents from the tech company that were leaked to the Guardian. The data reveals how Uber has flouted the law, deceived the police, exploited violence against drivers and secretly lobbied governments around the world.

The leak consists of email, iMessages and WhatsApp exchanges between the Silicon Valley giant’s top executives, as well as memos, presentations, notebooks, briefing documents and invoices.

The records cover 40 countries and span from 2013 to 2017, a period in which Uber grew from a brave startup to a global giant, stomping its way through cities around the world without worrying about vehicle regulations. cabs.

To facilitate a global investigation, the Guardian shared the data with 180 journalists from more than 40 media organizations through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

What do they reveal?

Why is the period covered by the leak important?

The five-year period covered by the data covered a crucial period of Uber’s expansion.

When the app first launched publicly in San Francisco in 2010, Uber customers could only rent luxury black vehicles. The following year’s introduction of UberX, which allowed drivers to pick up passengers in their own car, quickly gained traction and by early 2013 the service was operating in over 30 locations, mostly in the United States.

It was around this point that Uber sought to expand rapidly overseas. The period covered by the leaked data was one of rampant growth, as Uber used its record venture capital investments to subsidize rides in cities around the world. In June 2017, when its controversial co-founder Travis Kalanick stepped down as chief executive, Uber operated in more than 600 locations.

Kalanick’s replacement, Dara Khosrowshahi, set out to prove to shareholders that the company could deliver profitable growth. Five years later, Uber – now valued at $45 billion – provides on-demand transportation in more than 10,000 cities.

How did Uber and Travis Kalanick respond to the survey?

In a statement, Uber’s senior vice president of public affairs, Jill Hazelbaker, said: “We have not and will not find excuses for past behavior that is clearly inconsistent with our current values. Instead, we’re asking the public to judge us on what we’ve done in the past five years and what we’ll do in the years to come.

She continued, “Uber is now one of the largest workplace platforms in the world and an integral part of the daily lives of over 100 million people. We have moved from an era of confrontation to an era of collaboration, demonstrating a willingness to come to the table and find common ground with former opponents, including unions and taxi companies.

“We are now regulated in over 10,000 cities around the world, working at all levels of government to improve the lives of those who use our platform and the cities we serve.”

In a separate statement, Travis Kalanick’s spokesperson said he “has never authorized any actions or programs that would obstruct justice in any country”, and that he “has never suggested that Uber profits from violence at the expense of driver safety.” Any accusation that Mr. Kalanick directed, engaged in or participated in any of these activities is completely false.

Integrated GiT

“The reality was that Uber’s expansion initiatives were led by more than a hundred executives in dozens of countries around the world and at all times under the direct supervision and with the full approval of the strong legal groups, Uber’s policies and compliance.”

The spokesperson added: “When Mr. Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009, he and the rest of the Uber team pioneered an industry that has now become a verb. Doing so required changing the status quo, as Uber became a serious competitor in an industry where competition was historically prohibited.

“As a natural and foreseeable consequence, entrenched industrial interests around the world have fought to prevent the much needed development of the transport industry.”


Comments are closed.