Ride-sharing app Uber has enhanced links with India despite months of controversy and legal hassles in the country, declaring on Monday that it would invest over $50 million over the next five years to set up a new office in the southern Indian tech hub of Hyderabad.
The new office — reportedly its largest outside the U.S. — will house hundreds of employees, the San Francisco–based company said in a statement. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with the government of the state of Telangana, where Hyderabad is located, to “create thousands of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities, foster technical innovation and research into smart city initiatives and a commitment to make significant investments,” according to the statement.
The mobile service will also partner with the Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge to train more than 2,000 new Uber drivers by 2016.
Uber has been under fire in India since the beginning of the year, when one of its drivers in the capital city, New Delhi, was accused of sexually assaulting a passenger. This was followed by a ban across the city, with the New Delhi government alleging that the company had flouted rules governing the operation of taxis.
The taxi aggregator faces similar troubles in Hyderabad and is currently not authorized to operate in the city. Its operations “didn’t fit the regulatory framework,” B. Venkateswarlu, a joint commissioner at Telangana’s transportation department, told the Wall Street Journal. Uber’s response on Monday was that it is working with the government to come up with a “new regulatory framework” within the next four weeks.
Uber continues to expand in the South Asian nation despite its various regulatory roadblocks and currently operates in 18 different cities, making India its second largest market outside the U.S.
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