As Uber celebrated its one-year anniversary operating in Seoul, the South Korean government might cause the ride sharing app to screech to a halt in the capital city. Uber has enjoyed wide appeal in Seoul and in other cities around the world and is expanding its service with UberX, which allows users to have registered cars to pick them up and communication is through text messaging. Uber is different from taxi-hiring apps, since it uses only private cars and its Black service provides private limousines.
Allen Penn, Uber’s head of Asia, said “We are very excited about bringing ride sharing to Seoul. UberX has become widely known in modern cities as a poster child for the sharing economy. This fills a need for the city of Seoul, where car ownership is high and residents lack options for a comfortable ride in the midst of daily traffic congestion.”
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Although Uber provides many advantages to individual customers and cities it serves, because traffic congestion and pollution are lessened with ride sharing, the South Korean government has declared that Uber’s service is illegal, and that only taxis can be hired for rides. A driver offering the service could face a fine of over $19, 000. It looks like things are uber risky in Seoul for this popular rides-sharing app.