The chief executive of the taxi-hailing firm Uber promised to create 50,000 new jobs this year.
“We want to make 2015 the year where we establish a new partnership with EU cities,” Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick said at the DLD conference in Munich, Germany’s largest annual gathering of media and tech leaders.
The four-year-old company, which helps users summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, has drawn a firestorm of criticism, even as it has continued to expand rapidly into more than 250 cities worldwide, Reuters reported.
Uber has been hit with court injunctions in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain for violating taxi licensing rules.
Last June, taxi drivers in London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid staged strikes to protest what they called unfair competition from the taxi-hailing mobile service.
A woman who was allegedly raped by an Uber taxi driver in New Delhi has sued the company in US courts.
In his speech, Kalanick stressed that Uber has created thousands of full- and part-time driving jobs in cities where it is operating.
Uber’s mobile phone application connects private drivers to passengers seeking local rides. The company also offers professional limousine service and ride-sharing options.
To mayors who reach deals to free up Uber’s ride-sharing service to operate, he pledged: “We can promise you 10,000 jobs in four years.”
“At the end of 2015, if we can make these partnerships happen, we create 50,000 new EU jobs,” he said, referring to the equivalent number of full-time jobs.
The San Francisco-based company is now considered the world’s most highly valued venture-backed start-up, worth at least US$41 billion, the news agency said.
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