It’s been a very bad week so far for car-sharing firm Uber. First, there was the news Monday that the ride-sharing service had been banned in India due to the rape of a female passenger by an Uber driver with a criminal record. Then on Tuesday the governments of both Spain and Thailand announced that Uber was operating illegally in their countries and must cease operations.
Details on Uber’s problem in Thailand
The problem in Thailand is the cars Uber uses to help people get where they are going. Thailand’s Land Transport department chief Teerapong Rodprasert told The Wall Street Journal that Uber is using private cars rather than licensed taxis, which is a violation of the country’s laws. Rodprasert also noted that using mobile applications to hail properly registered vehicles is legal in Thailand.
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Uber launched its service in Thailand earlier in the first quarter, and then started up ride-sharing on the popular resort island of Phuket in November.
“Uber respects the Department of Land Transportation and its important role as the key regulator on vehicle-for-hire transport in Thailand,” Uber spokeswoman Karus Arya said in a statement. “We look forward to continued conversations with the DLT to bring our innovative transportation solutions within the appropriate regulatory framework in Thailand.”
The WSJ also notes that a number of other countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Singapore, are now taking a closer look at the ride-sharing service to determine if it is operating legally.
Uber banned by court order in Spain
On Tuesday, a judge in Spain ordered Uber to end all operations in the country, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. A mercantile court judge in Madrid ruled that Uber drivers have no official authorization to operate the service and are competing unfairly with licensed taxi drivers. The new car-sharing service has faced the same allegations from the Madrid Taxi Association, which has a lawsuit pending against the firm.