Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

Amid Problems in Asia, Uber Will Not Sell Its Seoul

Wherever Uber goes, controversy tailgates it

Uber australia

Uber has just days to meet the deadline for a radio license or have its IP shut off in India, and is trying to get away with giving away rides free in Seoul to curry favor with South Koreans.

Uber, which is giving traditional cabs a run for their money, has been a troubled but prosperous company, whose growth and valuations read like a sports star’s statistics and its ongoing headline drama is like a corporate version of a soap opera. It is loved and loathed and has been embraced, reviled, touted and banned all over the world. After an incident in December when an Uber driver raped a woman in New Dehli, Uber was banned in the country. It has included new safety features, including a button that will record information about a driver and an SOS service that will notify the police, but Uber’s problems in India aren’t limited to security. It has failed to secure a radio license, and transportation officials says if it doesn’t obtain the license by the end of February, Uber’s IP will be shut off in the country, according to

In South Korea, Uber’s service was declared illegal, with generous rewards offered for those who reported Uber users. CEO Travis Kalanick was indicted for violating laws against offering transportation services without a proper license. Uber has responded by waiving its UberX fees for Seoul passengers. Allen Penn, head of Uber’s North Asia division told Reuters, “We want to actively work towards a consensus and the first step is switching off the fare.” Perhaps this benign act of bribery through free rides will work, but it can’t go on like this forever. If allowed to operate in the country, at some point, Uber will have to sell its Seoul.

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