Earlier in the year, Chinese authorities raided Uber offices in Guangzhou as the company stands accused of operating illegally in the city. During the raid, several phones belong to the staff at the company offices and other unlisted equipment were confiscated by the police. Uber has been operating in China since 2013 with incident having been linked to Uber’s licensing terms. The raid was followed by the Guangzhou municipal transportation bureau launching its own ride-sharing app known as Ruyue to rival Uber and operating under the same model as Uber.
Reuters is now reporting that Chinese authorities in Hong Kong raided the offices of the taxi hailing service and arrested three staff members. The authorities also arrested five Uber driver partners in a sting operation. In the office raid, they took away documents, computers and iPads, while they arrested the five after riding a fare using the service. The five arrested were accused of illegally using vehicles for hire as well as lacking the required car permits or third party insurance. Uber which offers UberBlack, UberX and UberXL services in Hong Kong has said it will stand by its drivers and work with the authorities to come up with regulations aimed at improving the safety of the rides and interests of the riders.
Uber has been dogged by controversies and legal suits in various countries that it has launched operations in including in Europe and other Asian countries. The controversies involve its mode of operation vis-a-vis local laws regulating the transport industry, the conduct of its partnering drivers as well as its nature since it is essentially a software company disrupting the transport industry as we know it. Uber is the second largest taxi hailing service in China after Didi Kuaidi with 11% market share. Didi Kuaidi has close to 80% of the market share boasting of nearly 30 million customers daily, with 10 million driver partners signed up. Didi Kuaidi was formed in February 2015 following the merging of rival apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache.