Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Focus How Does Uber Fare Outside Of Europe?

How Does Uber Fare Outside Of Europe?

Few companies have grown quite as quickly and expanded as aggressively as Uber have, but at the same time, it’s hard to argue with their success. By some distance the largest ride sharing app in the world, the company have spearheaded a significant shift in the private hire vehicle market that has been so pronounced that traditional taxi companies have become severely under threat as a result.

Most prevalent in the United States where they were founded, they have since flooded the globe, with Europe now one of their key territories. Having first targeted larger cities and then worked outward within those divide countries, their divide and concur approach may've caused some controversy and provoked the odd legal scrape, but it has led to undeniably impressive returns, too. Having penetrated society to the level now where more people speak of "getting an Uber" than ordering a taxi, this doesn't appear to be a trend showing any signs of slowing.

That said, however, Uber haven't been made to feel as welcome in some of their newer territories as they were across Europe and the United States.

Although doing well on paper in terms of growing usage and popularity, their arrival in Argentina was met with extremely hostile – and occasionally violent – protest. Concentrated around Buenos Aires, the traditional taxi drivers from the capital have taken it upon themselves to stand their ground against Uber, with the ride sharing service reporting around 1,000 incidents of aggression against them so far this year.

Far more organised than just ad-hoc attacks, on top of the more mainstream protests against their government allowing Uber to operate in the country, taxi drivers have been organising what've become to be known as 'hunts', with the aim to harass and intimidate as many Uber drivers as possible. Aggrieved that the Argentinean government sanctioned the approval of competition during a period of such poor economy - and threatened by just how many previously unemployed people had quickly become drivers - it's an intensely complex and difficult situation.

Whilst there is obviously no good defence for the type of behaviour that has taken place – Uber have released details that alleges cars being tipped over and set alight, acid being poured on vehicles to strip paint, tyres being slashed and weapons being carried such as pneumatic air rifles – this isn't the first time that new technology unapologetically threating the livelihoods of long-term workers has been received poorly.

Even domestically, while the company have been able to resume operations in London, there is still a chance that they could be banned by law for a second time should they fail to adhere to the new strict conditions that've been dictated to them by the courts. With traditional black cabs and hackney carriages such a fixture of the capital – both practically and culturally – there is a clamour to protect their business and businesses that're reliant on them running, such as Cab Direct, who are specialists in taxi sales.

Document Actions
EU Alerts

EUbusiness Week no. 840
Blame game is to blame
→ EUbusiness Week archive

The Week Ahead no. 420
Macroeconomic imbalances - disinformation - sustainable corporate governance - consumer protection - road accident compensation - water reuse in agriculture

Subscription options