Uber


'Uber' Articles Page 2

U.S. Prosecutors to Investigate Uber's Alleged Theft of Waymo's Self-Driving Trade Secrets

A U.S. judge presiding over Waymo's trade-secrets theft lawsuit against Uber has asked federal prosecutors to investigate the claims in the case, it emerged on Thursday (via Bloomberg). U.S. district judge William Alsup also partially granted Waymo's bid for an injunction against Uber's self-driving efforts, and rejected Uber's arguments that the trade secret allegations should proceed in private. Google's self-driving Waymo car division originally filed the lawsuit against Uber in February, accusing the company of stealing its self-driving intellectual property. Specifically, former Google employee Anthony Levandowski is accused of stealing 14,000 confidential files that included data on Waymo's laser-based radar (LiDAR) system, which the company called "one of the most powerful parts" of its self-driving technology. In referring the case to the U.S. Department of Justice, Judge Alsup said that in the absence of "smoking gun" proof of wrongdoing by Uber, he was not taking a position on whether or not charges are warranted, but noted there was "ample evidence" that Levandowski had breached his duty of loyalty to Waymo. Uber declined to comment on the referral to prosecutors, while Levandowski has already recused himself from LiDAR-related work while the case is ongoing, but the news is yet another setback for the ride-hailing service as it attempts to revive its tarnished image following multiple controversies over recent months. The Department of Justice is already investigating the company over its use of "secret" software that allowed its drivers to

Uber Facing Criminal Probe Over Software Used to Identify Driving Regulation Officials

Uber found itself in more hot water on Thursday after Reuters revealed that the ride-hailing service is facing a criminal investigation by the U.S. government. The Department of Justice has reportedly begun an investigation over the company's use of "secret" software that allowed its drivers to operate in areas where Uber was banned or restricted. First reported by The New York Times, the so-called "greyball" software is said to have allowed the company to identify officials seeking to prevent the service from running. It is claimed the software was used in several areas including Portland and Oregon, where the service was still waiting for approval to operate. Transport regulation officials regularly posed as passengers in those regions where Uber had yet to obtain approval, in an effort to prove that Uber was operating illegally. The software was used to work out who was an undercover official and would attempt to block them from booking rides in the first place. Uber has already admitted to using the software. In a letter sent to Portland transport regulators last week, the company said it used greyball "exceedingly sparingly" in the city, but had not used it since April 2015 when it received permission to operate. Uber has also previously defended its use of the software by claiming that it helped the company limit fraud and protect its drivers from harm. The company prohibited the use of the software for identifying officials shortly after the New York Times report brought the practice to light. The nature of any potential federal criminal

Uber Will Make It Easier Than Ever to Delete Your Personal Information From Its App

Uber today announced that it will begin rolling out a simplified way for users to permanently delete their personal information from the app over the next few weeks (via The Verge). The news follows a few months of protests against the company that included Uber's perceived opportunistic business tactics during the immigration airport protests in January, the questionable actions of CEO Travis Kalanick, and the app's location sharing practices. Prior to the update, users could delete the app from their phone, but any data Uber had obtained from its users would remain on its servers unless customers personally emailed or called the company's support team. Now, users will be able to go through this process within the app itself thanks to a new "Delete Your Account" screen, which will immediately deactivate user accounts and then permanently delete everything after 30 days. Uber said this protracted deletion period is a way for users to reverse their decision if they change their minds. Data deleted will also affect any information that was entered in Uber's food-related spin-off app, UberEats. Late last year and early in 2017, Uber faced a series of backlashes from the public related to the app's tracking of user data up to five minutes after a trip ends, as well as multiple reports related to Kalanick and his relationship with President Donald Trump. Uber claims that the new account deletion update isn't in response to any of those previous reports, and that it's been in the works "for more than a year." Uber insists today’s changes aren’t a response to

Uber to Make Passenger Ratings More Visible on iPhone and iPad

Uber today announced that passenger ratings will be displayed more prominently within its iPhone and iPad app. Now, a rider's rating will be displayed right under their name in the app's menu that slides out from the left. Previously, riders had to visit an unadvertised Uber support document and sign into their account to view their score, likely resulting in some riders not even knowing the feature existed. While most Uber users are likely familiar with rating drivers on a five-star scale after a trip, drivers can also rate passengers. If a rider eats in the car without permission, slams the door, or tries to pile in more people than seat belts, for example, a driver could give that passenger a low rating. By making these rider ratings more visible, Uber hopes it will remind riders that "mutual respect is an important part" of its Community Guidelines. Ratings are always reported as averages, and neither riders nor drivers will see the individual rating left for a particular trip. Uber for iPhone and iPad [Direct Link] was updated earlier this week, but the rider rating change still appears to be in the process of rolling

Tim Cook Threatened to Remove Uber From the App Store Over iPhone Tagging Tactics

Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to pull Uber's app from the App Store in early 2015 after discovering the ride-hailing company was secretly "fingerprinting" iPhones that used the app, it emerged on Sunday. The claim appeared in a New York Times report profiling Uber's risk-taking chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was apparently summoned to Apple's campus for a face-to-face meeting with Cook over the app's behavior. Travis Kalanick (left) and Tim Cook at a 2016 fashion gala (Image: Reuters) According to the report, Uber was trying to prevent fraudsters from creating multiple fake accounts on the same device to collect new account bonuses, but to do this it had been recording the UUID serial numbers of iPhones so that it could identify them even after the app had been deleted and the phone wiped. Knowing that the approach was a clear violation of Apple's app privacy guidelines, Uber implemented the tactic regardless, and even went so far as to geofence Apple's Cupertino campus so that Apple engineers using the app wouldn't see its fingerprinting behavior. Mr. Kalanick told his engineers to "geofence" Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a way to digitally identify people reviewing Uber’s software in a specific location. Uber would then obfuscate its code from people within that geofenced area, essentially drawing a digital lasso around those it wanted to keep in the dark. Apple employees at its headquarters were unable to see Uber’s fingerprinting.However, the tactic didn't go unnoticed by Apple engineers for long. Soon after the discovery was made, Tim

Uber Now Lets You Edit Your Pickup Location After Requesting a Ride

Uber today is beginning to roll out a new "pickup corrections" feature in its iOS app, which will allow riders to change their pickup location after it's been entered and a ride has been requested. With the new addition, riders who accidentally enter a wrong pickup location can tap "edit" next to it, enter the new address, confirm it, and send it to the driver, who is updated on-the-fly about the new location. The rider changes the pickup (left) and the driver gets an update (right) Uber said that the small but helpful update is designed to save the time and frustration of both riders and drivers, the former of which would previously have to call the latter to either manually give out a new location or cancel the ride altogether. The pickup is a core part of the Uber experience and we’re always looking for ways to make it as painless as possible for both riders and drivers. This simple fix gives riders more control over their pickup experience and saves everyone time and avoidable headaches. The new update also comes with a collection of driver-side support tweaks, which "give drivers more of a say on concerns and complaints that affect their bottom line." This includes ways for Uber to validate a driver corresponds correctly to their in-app profile to satisfy riders, an adjustment to the scale of the rider complaint system, changes to how disputes are handled on fare adjustments, and more. The new pickup corrections update will begin rolling out today to users in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, and should take a few weeks to get to everyone. Uber

Alphabet's Waymo Accuses Uber of Stealing Self-Driving LiDAR System

Google parent company Alphabet's self-driving Waymo car division today filed a lawsuit [PDF] against Uber, accusing the company of stealing its self-driving intellectual property. In blog post shared this afternoon, Waymo explains that employees of Otto, a self-driving trucking startup recently acquired by Uber, allegedly stole technical information from Google's autonomous car project, something it equates to "stealing a secret recipe from a beverage company." Specifically, former Google employee Anthony Levandowski, who co-founded Otto, is accused of stealing 14,000 confidential files that included data on the laser-based radar system used in Waymo vehicles. Waymo conducted a forensic investigation of Levandowski's former computer after accidentally receiving an email of Otto's LiDAR circuit board, which closely resembled Waymo's design.We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo's various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo's LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo's design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo's highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.According to Waymo, its LiDAR system is "one

Uber Agrees to $20M Settlement After Claim it Falsely Advertised High Income to 'Entice' Potential Drivers

The Federal Trade Commission recently filed a complaint against popular ride-hailing app Uber for posting inflated yearly wages on various job-seeking websites, which "enticed numerous consumers to become Uber drivers" under false pretenses, according to the FTC. Uber isn't fighting the allegations placed against it, and has instead this week quickly agreed to a settlement deal in the way of paying $20 million as equitable relief to the FTC. As reported by BuzzFeed News, the FTC's complaint explains that from May 2014 through August 2015 Uber published a statement on its website which included various annual earning rates for its drivers. In the post the company mentioned that for UberX drivers the "median income is more than $90,000/year/driver in New York and more than $74,000/year/driver in San Francisco." According to the FTC, the truth is that the median income is $29,000 less than Uber claimed in New York, and $21,000 less in San Francisco, specifically when looking at hours locked to a standard 40-hour work week. In total, less than 10 percent of drivers in New York and San Francisco have reached Uber's $90,000 and $74,000 yearly income claim, respectively. "To induce individuals to become Uber Drivers, Uber has advertised and marketed the earning potential of its Drivers on Craigslist, its company website, and other advertising and marketing media. Uber has publicized high annual and hourly earnings to entice consumers to become Uber Drivers. However, once Drivers have begun to receive their paychecks, Drivers have discovered their actual earnings were

Google Maps Users Can Now Book and Pay for Uber Rides Without Ever Leaving the App

Google is rolling out an update to Google Maps for iOS that lets users request a ride from Uber without ever having to leave the app. Previously, users of Maps could get a ride cost estimate and start the process of hailing a ride, but would eventually be kicked into the Uber app proper for confirmation and payment. Now however, users can book and pay for an Uber directly within Google Maps, without having to have the official Uber app installed on their device, thanks to a redesigned "ride services" section. Google announced the update on Thursday in a blog post, explaining that Maps users need only to sign in to their existing Uber account (or create one) in order to book an Uber ride, track the driver on the map, and connect with the driver, all from within the Maps app. Users are also able to take a look at information about their destination while en route, with menus, hours, and other details available in-app. Though listed in the ride services section, Lyft currently doesn't appear to support the same booking process as yet. The Maps update is currently being rolled out globally and should appear on user's phones any time now. Google Maps is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Uber Explains Why its App Appears to Track Users Days or Even Weeks After a Ride

Uber responded on Friday to concerns surrounding its app's background tracking behavior by explaining that the issue is being caused by an update to iOS itself, not the company's ride-hailing app (via TechCrunch). Concerns were first raised about Uber's use of location services when the company announced it would track customers' whereabouts for a few minutes after their trip ends and the app is no longer open, in order to improve its service. Privacy advocates' main complaint was that the app offered no opt-out. However, since that time many users have reported that the app goes much further and appears to track them for days or even weeks after they last used the ride-hailing service, even when the app is closed. @gruber old ver last used 7 days ago. Is it possible that Uber enabled as Maps extension explains icon? pic.twitter.com/GfWG6ytY5s— Caleb Powell (@caleb_powell) December 22, 2016 Uber now says the unintentional behavior is being triggered by the iOS Maps extension that Apple added to its mobile operating system in September, not due to a bug in the Uber app or because of its recent location services update. In iOS 10, Apple opened up Maps to third-party apps, allowing developers to create extensions that can be integrated into the search result of Maps. When an app is installed that features an extension for Apple Maps, it is automatically integrated, but the extension is disabled by default to prevent search results from getting too crowded. According to an Uber spokesperson: "For people who choose to integrate ride sharing apps with iOS Maps,

Uber Pulls its Self-Driving Cars From San Francisco Streets

Uber has removed its fleet of self-driving cars from San Francisco streets on Wednesday after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked its vehicle registrations (via Reuters). Earlier this week, the DMV ordered Uber to shut down its self-driving car test program and comply with regulations requiring a permit to test the autonomous vehicles on public roads. The order came after an Uber car was reportedly seen running a red light in downtown San Francisco, but the company refused to comply with the agency's demand, arguing that it did not require a permit because each of its 16 vehicles are continuously monitored by a driver and an engineer who sit in the front seats. Uber disputed the interpretation by the DMV that the cars require a special permit and said the state laws were being unevenly applied, owing to the fact that the self-driving capabilities of Uber's fleet matched those of Tesla's vehicles, which have an optional "autopilot" feature. Uber's defiance brought threats of legal action from the DMV and the state attorney general, but the dispute has apparently come to an end now that state officials have yanked registration for the cars used in the company's pilot program. "We have stopped our self-driving pilot in California as the DMV has revoked the registrations for our self-driving cars," San Francisco-based Uber said in a statement emailed to AFP. "We're now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules."DMV director

Uber Update Lets You Set a Friend's Location as a Ride Destination

Uber today announced an update to its app that makes it easier to hail a ride and set a destination directly to person in your iPhone contacts list. After syncing contacts to Uber, users can type a friend's name into the "Where To" box in the app, and Uber will then send a request to that person to share their location with you, which can be set as a destination. The app can also update friends and family with a feature that sends your ETA to their phone as you ride in the Uber and make it closer to the drop-off point. Following negative reactions to background location tracking, some users might be apprehensive about sharing their contacts list with the app, however. Where are you? Where’s that again? These are common questions we ask friends and family when meeting up. If you’re catching up with friends when out of town, meeting your sister at the mall, or joining coworkers for drinks, now you can skip the back and forth. Just Uber directly to them! So skip the back and forth, forget the address, and get straight to whom you’re meeting up with. In addition to the new contacts sync update, Uber is also introducing Snapchat filters and direct integration with the popular photo-sharing app. Riders will be able to unlock "custom Uber filters" during a ride, including an ETA filter that includes the text of how long is left on a trip. The Snapchat integration can be found in each user's feed in Uber. Uber is available to download from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Uber Expands Color-Coded 'Beacons' to Four More Cities to Help Riders Find Their Drivers

One year after testing color-coded rider pickups in Seattle through a system called "SPOT," Uber today announced that the initiative is now called "Uber Beacon," and beginning December 16 it will expand to Miami, Denver, Nashville, and Newcastle in the United Kingdom. Uber Beacon is a piece of hardware that attaches to a driver's windshield and "uses color-pairing technology" to match up drivers with their riders. In the Uber app, riders will be able to select from an endless amount of color options when calling for a ride. As their driver gets to the pickup destination, the Uber Beacon in the windshield will match the color the rider picked, making it easy to find a ride at night and at crowded venues. The new hardware has also been designed to match Uber's rider app logo. On the rider side of things, users can hold up their smartphone to display their unique color and make it quicker for the driver to find and pick them up. Uber said the Beacon itself can be installed easily, removed in seconds, and lasts for "several evenings without charge." Enter Uber Beacon, designed for simplicity and scalability. Drivers can install it themselves within minutes and then remove it in seconds. And with a powerful battery and Bluetooth connection to our driver app, it can last several evenings without charge, while keeping the dashboard cable-free. And our technology also allows for customized color palettes and animation styles to celebrate events and holidays —imagine Beacon pulsing St. Patrick’s Day green or colorful rainbows all weekend for Pride. Uber drivers in

Uber iOS App Gains 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Theme

Uber has announced that users will today begin seeing a new update rolling out for the popular ride-hailing app, which transforms it into a themed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story experience. The visual update comes via a partnership with Disney, and replaces the usual Uber vehicle icons with a few easily recognizable starships from the Star Wars universe, including X-Wings. In addition to the visual update, users will also be able to watch "exclusive video content" from the film during their Uber rides if they choose to turn on the Star Wars theme. Uber said that riders in "hundreds of cities globally" will gain access to the update, although it didn't specify which cities might be missing out on the new Star Wars experience. Today we announced we’re collaborating with Disney on an activation that transforms the Uber rider app into a themed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story experience. The in-app experience, which Uber riders can opt-into, will unlock special Rogue One: A Star Wars Story features as well as access to exclusive video content. Riders will have to opt-into the new Star Wars update, which they can do by tapping "Activate" on the related Rogue One: A Star Wars Story card that will begin greeting app users today. The theme will run from today, December 12, through December 18. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters December 16. Last week, Uber faced blowback surrounding its newest version update, which introduced a way for the app to continue tracking each user's GPS location five minutes after their Uber ride is complete, no matter if the app is open

Uber Faces Negative Reactions After Update Introduces Background GPS Tracking

A recent update to ride-hailing app Uber is generating a negative reaction online, with customers concerned over the company's decision to track their location "from the time of trip request through five minutes after the trip ends," no matter if the app is open or not. The only option now available for users to negate the background tracking of their location is to go into iOS Settings > Privacy > Location Services and opt-in to "Never" allow Uber location access through the iPhone. With no middle ground option of only tracking when the app is open, privacy advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation speaking with BuzzFeed News are now asking Uber to reintroduce such an option in the ride-hailing app. Uber said that tracking users five minutes after they leave their ride provides data that could improve the app's services, including whether or not customers are dropped off on the opposite side of the street of their destination, making them walk through traffic in the minutes after a ride. The new @Uber app tracks you for FIVE minutes after you get dropped off without the ability to opt out. pic.twitter.com/A9JOLj8dUn— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 5, 2016 Deputy executive director and general counsel at EFF, Kurt Opsahl, said that some people will "have very legitimate reasons" why they would want to opt out of such tracking services. He also noted that Uber's solution -- turning Location Services off -- harms the usability of the app, which uses GPS to automatically send a user's location to a driver for pick-up. If users want to stay secure and turn off

Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar Launch Election Day Promos to Help Voters Get to the Polls

Ahead of Election Day in the United States tomorrow, November 8, a collection of popular iOS and Android ride-hailing apps have launched promos for customers to more easily make it to their polling location before the 8PM deadline (via BuzzFeed). As the biggest ride-hailing app in the U.S., Uber [Direct Link] recently announced that starting tomorrow an action sheet will pop up when users launch the app, reminding them to vote. Through a partnership with Google, the prompt will also include a way for users to find their polling place, add it as a destination, and use Uber to make it to the polls. Uber said that the small update was implemented because the company wants "to make getting to and from your polling place easier than ever." As a blanket rule, polls open 6AM and close at 8PM. Let Uber and Google help you get out to vote. As part of our ongoing campaign to encourage users to vote, Uber is teaming up with Google to launch a special in-app feature on November 8th that will help you locate your polling location and then seamlessly request a ride with just a push of a button. Given the important decision people around the country will make on November 8th, we wanted to make getting to and from your polling place easier than ever. Teaming up with Google, Uber is excited to help make that trip as convenient and stress free as possible. Another popular taxiing app, Lyft [Direct Link], is angling its Election Day promotion as more of a money-saver for its customers (via The Verge). In twenty select markets, Lyft riders will be able to get a 45 percent discount

Uber, Lyft, WhatsApp Updates Bring First SiriKit and CallKit SDK Integrations to iOS 10 Users

With iOS 10, Apple opened Siri to third-party developers with a public API, allowing the personal assistant to summon third-party services and apps hands-free. Two of the first apps to make use of the new Siri SDK are WhatsApp Messenger and ride-hailing app Uber, both of which issued updates for their flagship apps this week. Uber users can now hail a ride with a "Hey, Siri" command, followed by "Book me an Uber" or other variants. Apple has also allowed the ride-hailing service to be integrated into Apple Maps under a new Ride tab, where users can choose from a list of available drivers in the area. As pointed out by MacRumors readers, Lyft has also been updated to support both functions. WhatsApp users meanwhile can now use Siri to dictate and send messages as well as initiate calls. WhatsApp also becomes one of the first third-party apps to make use of CallKit, Apple's new framework that enables VoIP calls to function in iOS 10 like FaceTime and regular cellular calls. VoIP service Viber also supports the feature. After updating the app, incoming WhatsApp calls appear in the lock screen showing the caller's profile picture and the typical call response buttons. In addition, WhatsApp contacts are now integrated into the native Contacts app in iOS 10, and also appear in the Phone app's Favorites. The WhatsApp update includes a number of other enhancements, including the ability to forward multiple chats at once. To enable Siri integration for the apps, users should go to Settings -> Siri -> App Support and toggle the relevant switches to the on

Apple-Backed Didi Chuxing Under Antitrust Investigation After Uber China Acquisition

China-based ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing is under an antitrust investigation, spearheaded by China’s Ministry of Commerce, following Didi's acquisition of Uber's Chinese operations earlier in the summer (via The Wall Street Journal). The Ministry of Commerce said today that it's opened an investigation "after it received questions over whether the ride-hailing deal complied with the nation’s antitrust law." The investigation has reportedly been ongoing for a while now, as the commerce ministry has held two meetings surrounding the deal between Didi and Uber. According to transcripts of the meetings, the focus has been on asking Didi why it didn't apply for antitrust review before moving forward with the deal. When its acquisition of Uber went public, Didi claimed it didn't need to apply to antitrust regulators "because UberChina’s revenue didn’t reach the 400 million yuan ($60 million) “turnover” threshold triggering an antitrust review." At issue is the vague word “turnover” in China’s antimonopoly law, which could be interpreted as either revenue or transaction volume, China accountants say. UberChina’s transaction volume almost certainly exceeds 400 million yuan, but Uber counts only a fraction of each fare as part of its revenue. That is because the company—like other “platforms” such as Groupon Inc.—says it is only a middleman and that it only passes along fares from riders to drivers, taking a thin cut. Many professionals looking into the case still believe that the Didi/Uber deal will go through in the end, with one ministry spokesman saying that, right

Uber Will Begin Picking Up Pittsburgh Users in Self-Driving Cars This Month

After years of planning, and testing phases over the last few months, Uber this month will begin allowing customers in Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from within its ride-hailing app. As noted by Bloomberg, "no automotive or technology company has yet achieved" the public launch of a self-driving service, passing rivals Google, Tesla, and Ford, who have so far only performed tests in the field. Uber's new program isn't entirely "driverless," however, since the company is still placing trained engineers in the driver's seat, "as common sense and the law dictate," to oversee each trip and ensure the passenger's safety. There will also be a co-pilot in the front passenger seat to take notes while the test trips take place, and everything will get recorded by cameras inside and outside the vehicle "so that any glitches can be ironed out." On the passenger side of things, once users hail the specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles, they'll see a tablet computer in the backseat that comes stacked with information to tell them that they're in an autonomous vehicle and educate them on exactly what's happening. Although unspecified, it appears that riders won't know they're being paired with a driverless car while in the Uber app, but the ride will be free of charge "for the time being." According to Uber's engineering director Raffi Krikorian, "the goal is to wean us off of having drivers in the car, so we don’t want the public talking to our safety drivers." The company also thinks the new technology could greatly cut down on the cost of trips

Apple's Huge Investment in Didi Chuxing Was Behind Uber China Deal

Over the weekend we reported that Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing had agreed to acquire the Chinese operations of rival Uber in a deal worth $35 billion. In a Reuters story filed yesterday, sources close to both companies revealed that Apple's $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing was the driving factor in Uber's decision to agree to the deal, in return for a one-fifth stake in a bigger Didi. "The Apple investment is one of the factors that influenced the decision," a person close to the companies told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "Both sides raised enormous amounts of capital. They were probably thinking this was going to escalate to nuclear warfare, which raised the question: do we really want to assure mutual destruction?"According to the sources, Didi raised far more money than Uber China, which was forced to subsidize its operations in the country using profits it had made in the U.S., Canada, and about 100 cities elsewhere. The company's relinquishment of its independence in China marks the first failure in Uber's strategy of outspending its biggest competitors. In June, Didi secured $7.3 billion in funding from investors including Apple, China Life Insurance Co Ltd, Ant Financial and other new shareholders, giving the company a $28 billion valuation that made it the world's third highest-valued start-up. The company says it now has $10.5 billion in available funds, thanks to backing from Chinese Internet giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings. "Apple's investment in Didi likely spurred Uber to think harder about doing