Ride-hailing major Uber’s Asia operations are up for a federal probe in the US, and it might cause some heartburn for its India unit. Part of it includes investigations into the 2014 Delhi rape case that resulted in a brief state government ban for Uber in which the-then Uber Asia-Pacific head Eric Alexander was charged with manipulating the victim’s medical records. It eventually led to his ouster from Uber, however, further probe into the incident is likely, Bloomberg reported. Also Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needyAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Long-term Review
The federal review would also look into bribery allegations against Uber in Indonesia and Malaysia. The cab aggregator’s operations in China and South Korea would also be investigated in lieu of Alexander’s misdeeds. The US Justice Department is probing possible criminal cases as well as “problematic business dealings” that weren’t disclosed earlier. For this purpose, it is expected to interview several Uber employees, including those in India. Uber is said to have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and gained favorable laws from various Asian governments. ALSO READ: Uber rolls out in-app chat, multi-destination booking in India; here s how it works Also Read - OnePlus India partners American Express for cashback deals, EMI offers and more
In India, where it completed the 500-million-ride milestone in August, Uber has had to spent loads of cash in marketing to repair its broken image after one of its driver-partners raped a woman in the national capital. What made it worse for Uber India were Alexander’s suspicious ownership of her medical records, which he showed to Uber executives in the US, and even doubted the victim’s plea. The present Uber India management, however, is tight-lipped about the incident. “Unfortunately, I can t comment on the issue because it s sub-judice. I personally don t know much more because I wasn t [at Uber] at that time,” Uber India head Amit Jain reportedly said. ALSO READ: Many Uber India employees have signed a petition to get Travis Kalanick back
The incident, of course, scarred Uber, and it had to include a couple of new features in its app, including the SOS button, to coax the Delhi government to lift the ban. Three years later, Uber has emerged as a rival to India’s homegrown cab-hailing service Ola. However, its tryst with corporate mismanagement, fraud, and the resulting lawsuits, continue to haunt the San Francisco company. In a separate legal tussle over self-driving, Uber is being currently being sued by Google parent Alphabet. Uber’s new CEO might be in for a bumpy ride.