A new report emerged today that Uber is investigation on suspicion of shady business dealings in at least five countries in Asia, amidst accusations of government levels spending as well as quid-pro-quo arrangements involving the Malaysian government.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) began preliminary investigations in August into whether Uber’s managers violated any current US laws involving bribing government officials, especially whether they breached the Foreign Corrupt Practice act. The investigations cover activities in at least five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, and Malaysia, to see if Uber paid any amounts of money to achieve favoured status in these countries via quid-pro-quo arrangements.
For Malaysia, the investigation centres around government-linked bodies: the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and the Malaysian pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP). Investigators are attempting to find a link whether an Uber donation to MaGIC and KWAP’s $30 million investment into Uber had anything to do with the Malaysian government’s passing of a ride-hailing law less than a year later. The short timing between all three activities raises suspicions of quid-pro-quo arrangements, which the investigation will determine.
KWAP did not give any comment when asked while MaGiC “strongly refutes any involvement in any quid-pro-quo arrangement with Uber”.