Uber drivers found guilty, fined in HK
A court yesterday found five Uber drivers guilty of illegally offering ride-hailing services, the latest clampdown against Uber Technologies Inc’s operations in Asia and a rare case where drivers have been found criminally liable.
Authorities in several Asian countries are taking a tougher stance against the firm, amid growing complaints from traditional taxi drivers, who say Uber drivers are not properly registered nor insured.
Uber pulled out of Taiwan less than a month ago over mounting fines from regulators, while Thai authorities have cracked down on drivers following protests from unhappy taxi firms.
The five were convicted for not having proper licences and insurance to operate vehicles for commercial purposes.
Judge So Wai-tak said he didn’t see much difference between Uber drivers and “pirate taxi drivers in the past”.
The court fined the drivers HK$10,000 (RM5,750) each. It also revoked their driving licences for a year, but that punishment was suspended upon the drivers’ appeal.
“Sharing a ride shouldn’t be a crime,” said Kenneth She, general manager for Uber, here.