The revolutionary concept of Uber, as claimed by the former CEO Travis Kalanick, disrupted the cab market as never before. Riding on new-age technologies, the company has created a large network of over a million driver in 75 countries; as per the data, it has recently completed 2 billion trips worldwide in 450 cities.
However, the ride for Uber is not as smooth in these cities. The infamous company (as its detractors call it) has been involved in various controversies almost as many as seven countries. By-passing laws, lack of passenger safety and apathetic attitude towards Uber drivers are some of the few allegations, the company has been charged with.
We have enlisted seven countries, where Uber is in conflict with the governments and local authorities.
France: In 2015, after a day of nationwide protests by taxi drivers, France’s interior minister ordered a ban on the low-cost car-sharing service UberPOP, calling it ‘illegal’. Since then, the company has been in constant conflict with the local authority. A year later, in 2016, French courts handed down the first criminal convictions against Uber, sanctioning two of its executives for “operating an illegal car service”.
Germany: Two years ago, a local court order to ban the UberPop service as it violated transport laws in the country. Last year, a regional court in Frankfurt also upheld Germany’s ban on UberPop, its lower cost service, rejecting an appeal by the San Francisco-based firm.
South Korea: In 2014, Uber suspended its UberX service after prosecutors filed charges against the local unit for violating the transport law.
In 2015, South Korea passed legislation banning unlicensed drivers from providing taxi services — and became the first country to institute a nationwide prohibition of the practice. The move directly hurt Uber’s cheap UberX service in the country.
Hong Kong: The country’s authorities have clamped down on Uber’s operations multiple times, with the latest crackdown in May when police arrested 21 drivers for illegal car-hiring.
A Hong Kong court found five Uber drivers guilty of the same crime in March and fined them HK$10,000 each. Uber has said it would help the drivers to appeal and criticized authorities for failing to keep up with innovation.
Japan: Uber’s cheap UberX service is not allowed in most of the country except a few places. UberX service is not allowed in Tokyo, where only luxury cars or taxis with licensed drivers can operate.
Taiwan: Uber suspended its service in the country in February. The company took the decision after being hit with millions in fines by the Taiwanese government. However, the company will use rental car agencies to get a fleet of cars on the ground in Taipei (rental car agencies there also offer drivers). So far, the service is limited to Taipei.
India: In spite of the Central government’s attempt to work in collaboration with app-based cab-hailing companies like Uber, the San Francisco-based company is at odds with some state governments.
Uber has been hauled up by various courts in different countries over its safety policy. Besides, state governments of Delhi and Karnataka have also cracked down on the company over its surge pricing policy.