The ridesharing service Uber promises to connect people needing a lift with drivers offering one, and it appears to be pretty useful. After all, you can use it to summon Optimus Prime. For many cab drivers around the world, though, the app is basically the bane of their existence. The French passed a law mandating wait times before pickups in January, and 30,000 European cabbies staged a mass protest in June. The latest group hoping to ban Uber is the government of Seoul, South Korea.

The government in the South Korean capital city claims that the app is illegal because the vehicles shuttling users around aren't registered as taxis, according to the Wall Street Journal's Korea Realtime blog. The attempted ban is only the latest shot across the bow of Uber in Seoul. Officials fined a driver 1 million won ($974) for picking up passengers using the service in April. The authorities say that an alternative is on the way in December that would allow clients to hail legal cabs from their smartphones.

"Comments like these show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past and getting left behind by the global 'sharing economy' movement," said Uber in a statement to the WSJ. Other locales facing how to cope with the influx of the service's users have instituted driver limits and implemented background checks.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Sahngseok Lee
      • 5 Months Ago
      Competitiom with the taxis isn't the only reason why Seoul has banned uber. Seoul has some more reasons. 1. Difficulties in the compensation in case of an accident 2. Security check on Uber drivers 3. The risk of personal information outflows 4. Guarantee the maintenance of Uber vehicles Taxi drivers are checked to guarantee the security, Taxis are always maintained and repaired by the company, but Uber vehicles and drivers aren't. It's mpre about safety and security than protectionism.
      automan
      • 5 Months Ago
      Seoul doesn't need this app. Seoul's transit system is quite simply the best in the world. Why should people in Seoul care about this app?
      Sergey R
      • 5 Months Ago
      I think it's time when governments need to adjust/change laws allowing companies like Uber to operate without need to fulfill obsolete rules and overcome artificial barriers. And please return Disqus back. I think it's much better than current comment system.
      Entity
      • 5 Months Ago
      Seoul won't get "trapped in the past," it's already in the future. Seoul already has cheap and plentiful public transportation and taxis, unlike most of the cities where Uber is having the most success. Developing its own taxi app will help ensure that it stays in the future.
        Autoblogist
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Entity
        Well if it's so cheap and plentiful why don't want competition?
          Jin
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Autoblogist
          cab drivers. korean workers love to protest, which they did when a new public transportation rules didnt apply to taxi.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's all about government just wanting licensing fees, which can be outrageous in cost depending on where you are.
      Peter Middleton
      • 5 Months Ago
      cab drivers are the bane of my existence