Apr 24, 2017

Apple threatened to kick Uber out of App Store: Report

BYPankaj Mishra

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is known for taking risky decisions, but one such move almost landed him in a soup when he tried to flout the rules laid by Apple on the App Store.
According to a report in The New York Times on Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook convened a meeting with Kalanick in 2015 when he found that Uber was directing its employees to camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers.
Uber was doing this to keep Apple from finding out that it had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app was deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection manoeuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.
“So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules. Stop the trickery or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store,” Cook reportedly warned Kalanick during the meeting.
Had Uber’s app was kicked out of App Store, the ride-hailing company would have lost access to millions of iPhone customers destroying its business.
According to the report, to build Uber into the world’s dominant ride-hailing entity, Kalanick has disregarded many rules and norms, backing down only when caught or cornered.
“He has flouted transportation and safety regulations, bucked against entrenched competitors and capitalised on legal loopholes and grey areas to gain a business advantage,” the report pointed out.
However, in the process, Kalanick has helped create a new transportation industry, with Uber spreading to more than 70 countries and gaining a valuation of nearly $70 billion.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.