Add China to the list of countries where Uber is facing a traffic jam of complaints. Uber is the company many customers love to love and many governments love to hate. Although it doesn’t get love from all of its customers, after rape allegations, accusations of rudeness, and even fatal accidents caused by drivers. City and national governments don’t like the fact that Uber is disrupting the business model of licensed cabs and is taking market share. But not only is Uber disruptive, but it is on the wrong side of the law in many places.
It is no surprise that the country that banned Google, China, is also not happy with Uber. In China, only licensed cars that are not private are allowed to have fares, but CNBC notes this is a crackdown and not a firm law, because some taxi hailing apps are allowed in the country.
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The vaguely worded statement seemed to create a loophole for apps, and said that it “welcomed innovation.” Some forms of Uber’s technology seem to be allowed under Chinese regulations; its Uber Black, for finding chauffeurs and its Uber X, which uses licensed drivers might be given the green light, but any use of unlicensed drivers seems to be right out. Chinese-owned taxi hailing apps have not fallen afould of regulators. It doesn’t hurt that Chinese internet giant Baidu has a large stake in the company.
Uber was recently expelled from Spain, ironic given that CEO Travis Kalanick has a Jewish mother. Well, as Monty Python would say, if they were making a sketch of the Uber drama, “I just started a disruptive ride hailing app, I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.”