Is Seoul’s move to ban Uber a step in the wrong direction?
Those in Korea looking to ban “Uber,” the ultra-rogue and ultra-hip car service smart phone app that connects passengers and drivers, might be facing some difficulties in the near future as the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is seeking to ban “technically illegal” Uber cars from the streets. The app, developed by Uber Technologies Inc., has faced opposition from traditional taxi companies and city governments worldwide and has already been banned in some parts of Europe.
Uber responds to Seoul’s plan to ban the service.
In Korea, opponents of Uber have claimed that Uber violates the “Passenger Transport Services Act,” which states that only registered companies are allowed to offer call taxi services. Earlier this week, SMG released its “Seoul City’s Powerful Response to Illegal Call Taxi App Uber” statement which claimed that Uber customers could be victims of crimes, and that they don’t have any protection as there is no rider insurance. Uber responded by saying, “Today, the statement issued by the Seoul city’s Taxi & Logistics Division to attack Uber (a Silicon Valley startup that has innovated transportation in over 150 cities and 41 countries around the world), shows how out of touch the department is with the “smart city” movement. While other global leaders, including London, Washington D.C., Singapore and Shanghai have embraced forward-thinking technologies and their role in improving consumer services, comments like these show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past and getting left behind by the global “sharing economy” movement.”