Uber Technologies Inc laid off hundreds of office-based staff in Egypt on Wednesday as the ride-hailing firm made wider cuts amid the fallout from the new coronavirus, one current and two former employees said.
The former employees, both of whom lost their jobs on Wednesday, and one employee who retained her post, said they had been told that about 40% of staff in Uber’s Egypt offices had been laid off.
That was out of a total headcount of 650-700, they said.
It came as Uber announced it would cut about 3,700 full-time jobs globally, affecting 17% of its employee count.
An Uber spokesman declined to share details of the layoffs in Egypt but said a total of 46 countries had been affected by the changes.
The news comes three days after the announcement of its subsidiary Uber Eats it is discontinuing its services in the Middle East, including in Egypt, starting 18 May as it looks into "redirecting resources to other markets where its food delivery business is booming".
On 6 May , Uber’s ride-hailing company subsidiary Careem also announced that it was suspending its bus-service Careem Bus and laying off 536 of its staff worldwide due to the losses caused by Coronavirus.
Egypt, with a swelling population of more than 100 million, is the biggest market in the Middle East for ride-hailing services and has been among Uber’s top 10 markets globally.
The country has taken a series of measures to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus, including a night curfew and the closure of schools and mosques.
However, the government has stopped short of imposing a lockdown, and taxis have continued to operate during the day.