Kansas City/Arlington — Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s warning that the company may have to temporarily shut down in California is a textbook strategy for the ride-hailing giant: when adverse court rulings hit, appeal to the public for support and seek to delay regulatory action.

Legal experts say buying time is the name of the game after California won a court order this week requiring Uber and rival Lyft to convert their drivers from contractors to employees — an existential threat to their business model and that of the broader gig industry...

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