Duterte’s gov­ern­ment slams brakes on Uber

Southeast Asia Globe - - Agenda / Business In Brief -

The Philip­pine gov­ern­ment is­sued a month-long ban on Uber in mid-Au­gust af­ter the ride-hail­ing app failed to ob­tain the nec­es­sary per­mits to li­cense its driv­ers, a rul­ing the US-based startup la­belled a “bla­tant vi­o­la­tion” of its rights.

The Philip­pines re­quires ride-hail­ing apps to go through the same driver li­cens­ing process as tra­di­tional taxi com­pa­nies. Uber has main­tained that it should be ex­empt from such reg­u­la­tions given its driv­ers ef­fec­tively op­er­ate as in­de­pen­dent con­tracters. At the time of writ­ing, Uber was vow­ing to con­tinue op­er­a­tions un­til the dis­pute had been set­tled, a de­ci­sion the gov­ern­ment said could lead to the ar­rest of driv­ers.

It is not the first time the ride-hail­ing app has found it­self in hot wa­ter in Asia. The com­pany has op­er­ated il­le­gally in Thailand since 2014 and was also re­cently driven off the roads for two months in Tai­wan for un­paid fines. How­ever, Uber has also shown some flex­i­bil­ity in the re­gion. In May, the com­pany de­parted from its tra­di­tional busi­ness model when it an­nounced it would only work with of­fi­cial taxi driv­ers in Myan­mar.

Uber was banned in the Philip­pines

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