Uber could learn something from Donald Trump about strengthening your base. But it turns out that working with America's controversial new president might not be the best way for the king of unicorns to do that.
But things boiled over when Uber seemingly capitalized on a strike of New York City taxi drivers, which was meant to show solidarity with immigrants affected by Trump's new ban on entry by citizens of seven troubled countries--Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In short, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance announced an hour-long ride stoppage in support of growing protests at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, where people attempting to enter the country with legal visas were being detained under the new Trump administration executive order. In response, Uber issued its own statement, canceling surge pricing around JFK.
The move was seen by many as a move designed to break the taxi workers strike, which Uber later denied on Twitter.
Nonetheless, the anti-Trump corners of social media, which includes large amounts of Uber's millennial base of users, was already primed for outrage against the company thanks to its aforementioned perceived cozyness with the new White House resident.
Kalanick has responded by pointing to an email he sent to employees expressing his opposition to Trump's immigration order, but also stated that he would speak to the new President about the matter at the next meeting of the economic advisory group.
The promise has done little so far to assuage the outrage as the hashtag continues to trend into Sunday with users posting screenshots of themselves removing the app from their phones.
Moving forward, Uber may continue to find itself weighing the value of playing ball with a new government that much of its user base perceives as rigging the game.