Wednesday, 7 June 2017

HK Government's Draconian Response to Uber

Why does the government want Uber to operate like Hong Kong taxis?
Uber is trying to prove to the government that it has the support of Hong Kong people, and in its online campaign, "IChooseUber", it has garnered some 12,000 submissions praising the car-hailing app service.

Kenneth She, Uber Hong Kong's general manager, said he was "blown away" by the support.

"This means riders are looking for the choice to move around the city the way they want, and driver-partners are hoping for the choice to earn extra income on their own terms," he said, adding that Uber was ready to meet the government to find a way to legalize and regulate the trade.

Uber Hong Kong general manager Kenneth She
The government's response to this car hailing app where people can conveniently book cars online, pay immediately by credit card, and can rate their driver too?

Uber must operate just like how taxis do.


Transport minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said Uber needs to adjust its business model and operate like taxis, while he continued to push the idea of premium taxis, that would essentially operate like Uber.

It doesn't seem like he has even tried Uber before or understands how it works.

Is he in the 21st century? And has he tried to hail an ordinary taxi before? The drivers pick and choose who they want to take, even though that is completely illegal, and they all aren't available around 4pm when they change drivers. And then there are the personal hygiene habits of many of them...

Taxi drivers really need to step up their game, and Cheung thinks premium taxis are the way to go?

Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai, who sits on the Legislative Council's transport panel, said the government's lack of finding legal and regulatory solutions to allow Uber to operate in Hong Kong showed it was not ready to deal with the "shared economy".

Taxis here need to be seriously revamped with better service
Information technology sector lawmaker Charles Mok said the city had become "the laughing stock of the whole world" because the government decided to "stay in the Stone Age" and not embrace new technology.

Uber is filling a gap in the market -- a choice for people who can't hail a taxi, or would rather pay via credit card, and get a clean, quiet service, and stimulates the economy because drivers are earning extra money whenever they want.

Isn't Hong Kong supposed to be about fair competition? The government dragging its heels on this one, revealing how closely linked it is with the taxi industry. Cheung is and the bureaucracy are twisting themselves into pretzels to try to persuade the public not to use Uber.

This latest development will only spur Uber customers to use the service even more and perhaps get a few more converts.

Getting Uber to be like Hong Kong taxis must be the joke of the week.


  1. Hong Kong taxis may be bad but Uber as a company is pretty problematic too...


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