It’s been a rough year for the Internal Revenue Service, what with thieves stealing information for roughly 100,000 taxpayers and a slew of fraudulent refunds filed with TurboTax that had the FBI and various states scrambling to investigate. Now the IRS says it’s working with state agencies and tax-preparation firms to combat stolen-identity refund fraud. Read More >
Uber’s car service has exploded to 58 countries in five years of its launch, though not without hiccups. But its “unprecedented” growth in China in the last year is nothing short of jaw-dropping. This week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick revealed that the company is providing nearly 1 million trips per day in China, where the company launched in February 2014. In a message to investors, obtained by the Financial Times, Kalanick revealed that Uber’s business in China doubled in the last month. Just last week, Uber, based in San Francisco, celebrated its fifth anniversary, but already four of Uber’s 10 largest cities are in China. The company compared its growth in five Chinese cities to New York. At the six-month mark, the number of trips in Chengdu was 46 times larger than that of New York at the same “age,” according to Kalanick. After nine months, Chengdu city had 479 times the number of trips that New York did. “Our early success derives from an organic approach to the market — we have established a new Chinese entity, Youbu, (which means “an excellent step forward”), and have partnered with Baidu to create a truly Chinese company that is built and supported by local employees, local partners, and local investors,” he wrote. Uber did not respond to a request from ABC News for further comment. “This kind of growth is remarkable and unprecedented,” Kalanick wrote. “To put it frankly, China represents one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber, potentially larger than the U.S. Success in China, however, takes commitment over the long haul and a strong will, coupled with a unique understanding of the differences in China.” Uber has faced regulatory hurdles in countries such as France that view the service as an unauthorized taxi or a threat to the traditional cab industry. Uber is in 11 cities in China so far, but the company plans to launch in 50 more cities this year that have a population of more than 5 million. Read More >
A scammer peddling magical $7,000 rewards from the government chose the wrong person to try to dupe: A police chief in Indiana filmed his phone on speaker while a stranger explained to him that yes, the government does just give people “free grant money” for no reason, and that he could get his money at Western Union. Read More >
Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie “It sounds like Diamond” Dimon, was quoted as saying that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken advocate of financial reform who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before becoming a lawmaker, was clueless about how banks actually work. The Massachusetts senator says that Mr. Dimon doth protest too much. Read More >
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LONDON – The GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), announces the results of its latest GBTA BTI Outlook – Western Europe report, a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe: Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. These five markets serve as a good barometer of the health of the entire European business travel market. The report, sponsored by Visa Inc., includes the GBTA BTI, a proprietary index of business travel spending that distills market performance over a period of time.