Date
19 October 2017
Seoul's city government accuses the mobile application Uber of illegal operations. Photo: Bloomberg
Seoul's city government accuses the mobile application Uber of illegal operations. Photo: Bloomberg

Blow to Uber as Seoul looks to ban driver-hailing app

Seoul wants to ban the taxi-hailing smartphone application Uber, saying its operation in the South Korean capital is illegal, the Financial Times reported.

“Uber is hurting the good people of the taxi industry,” Kim Kyung-ho, head of the city’s transport department, was quoted as saying.

In a statement released on Monday, the local government accused Uber of legal breaches and said it was developing a similar app that will direct customers to licensed taxis. A spokeswoman said the city will petition the national government to shut down Uber’s “illegal” operations in Seoul.

Since its launch in San Francisco four years ago, Uber has expanded into 149 cities in 41 countries. It is aggressively pushing into Asia. Aside from Seoul, the taxi-booking app has also entered Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Bangalore, according to the newspaper.

Users of the mobile app attest to the convenience it offers, but taxi drivers say it is hurting their livelihood.

Cabbies in Berlin, Paris, London and Madrid staged a coordinated strike in June to protest against the app and a Belgian court declared Uber illegal in April, the report said.

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