Uber driv­ers found guilty, fined in HK

New Straits Times - - Business World -

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.

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