S. Korean court fines local Uber unit for operating illegally

Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



AFP: Uber’s local unit in South Korea was fined Wednesday for operating an illegal taxi service, in the US firm’s latest brush with authorities.

The smartphone ride-hailing app started its service in Seoul in 2013, sparking angry protests from South Korean taxi drivers.

The firm’s global CEO Travis Kalanick and its local unit were indicted for violating a law on passenger transport services after the Seoul city government claimed Uber’s operations raised passenger safety issues.

The Seoul Central District Court said Wednesday the company had admitted the charges but had modified “issues that were in violation of the law” and had since been operating legally, according to Yonhap news agency.

It fined the firm 10 million won ($8,900).

CEO Kalanick did not appear for the trial and his case was postponed.

Uber is the most prominent of several smartphone apps that are shaking up the traditional taxi landscape in cities around the world.

But it has faced criticism and significant resistance from regulators in several countries, who accuse it of unfair competition and a lack of standards.

This month it relaunched in Taiwan with a limited version of its ride-hailing service having suspended operations on the island in February after sparring with the government.

The company in March 2015 folded its controversial Uber X service in South Korea, which connects passengers with private drivers with no taxi licence. 

Since then it only offered UberTaxi, linking passengers and licensed taxi drivers, and the upscale UberBLACK service.