Around the world competition within the ride-sharing market is intense, and in Germany, the market is even more hotly contended. Is Uber allowing other companies to sneak into this country's market?
When Uber first arrived in Germany in 2014, it followed its standard procedure at the time: Enter the market by storm and worry about getting permission later. The tactic that made it a ride-sharing market leader in the US did not fly in Germany, where even the permits need permits.
This time around, Uber is trying a new tack: Following the rules. Rather than challenging the German taxi industry directly, Uber is working with licensed private car services that will act as subcontractors for Uber to manage drivers, cars, and liability. It’s a legal gray zone that would let the startup operate solely as a platform. And it’s a last-ditch effort for Uber to retain its top spot in the world mobility market.
Competition has been getting tougher. Didi Chuxing of China and Grab of Singapore have essentially run Uber out of Russia, China, and Southeast Asia. Lyft picked up more market share in the US and Canada after former CEO Travis Kalanick’s bad behavior triggered a widespread Uber backlash last spring.
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