To say that Uber is controversial would not be an understatement. The app, which is well received by commuters and reviled by traditional taxi drivers, recently caused chaos in many major cities in Europe as thousands of taxi drivers banded together to protest against the app. Earlier this month, taxi drivers in Taipei, Taiwan also protested against the app.
Just yesterday, the Seoul city government has issued a statement saying that Uber is illegal in the city. Specifically, it is says that it is illegal because South Korean law forbids fee-paying transport services using private or rented motor vehicles unregistered with the authorities. It also added that it will introduce its own app later this year in December for its official city taxis.
Just in April, a driver was fined a million won (S$1208) for soliciting customers using Uber while driving a rented car.
In response, Uber said, "Comments like these show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past and getting left behind by the global ‘sharing economy’ movement." It also denied that its service was illegal as it is a "technology company" that connects drivers with passengers and does not operate its own taxi service or have its own fleet of vehicles.
Source: Wall Street Journal