When Uber entered the US market back in 2009, who would have thought that it’ll become one of the most successful and popular taxi apps in the world? With operations based in different parts of the world, this company is bound to be unstoppable in dominating the taxi industry. Yet, like most big-time companies, it is facing challenges in different countries. One particular country is showing little signs of love for this popular taxi app.
Russia, particularly in Moscow, has given Uber a very tough competition. Yandex, an internet company that operates the country’s largest search engine, has provided smartphone users Yandex.Taxi – an app that connects them to available taxi cabs in Moscow. Unlike Uber, where they can let random drivers take its users to places, Yandex.Taxi connects its users to actual taxi drivers. There are over 15,000 taxis (from different taxi companies) registered to the app, while Uber has over 3,000 Russian Uber drivers.
This just shows how united real taxi drivers are to crush their competition in the market.
This is not the only challenge Uber is facing in Russia right now. Alexander Starovoitov, the deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Transport, wants the app to be banned in the country. He fears that Uber will put the real taxi companies out of jobs since Uber only offers 99 rubles (US$2.50). That’s cheaper compared to other taxi services.
He also expressed his concern on the company’s quality of drivers and services it offers. Starovoitov also pointed out the sanctions given by the US against Russia. It’ll be unfair for his country if an American company dominates the taxi industry in Russia.
Well, Starovoitov is just trying to be fair.
Even though Uber is popular in a lot of countries across North America, Europe and Asia, this app has been getting a lot of hate from other countries as well. The company has faced a scandal in New Delhi, India where an Uber driver raped one of its users. Other countries such as Belgium and Germany have banned the company for safety concerns. It has also faced legal issues in cities such as Toronto, New York City, Seoul and Chicago.
With apps like Yandex. Taxi and lawmakers against Uber, how will this big-time company expand its business in Russia? Should it offer safer services where they only allow qualified drivers to take their users around Moscow? One thing’s for sure. Offering Starovoitov a free ride for one year won’t help this company.