Ride-sharing giant Uber is pulling out of Macau from Friday after years of fruitless battle with a local regulatory body.
An Uber spokeswoman said operations in Hong Kong would not be affected.
Today, we’re letting you know that as of 11.59pm on July 21, Uber will temporarily suspend its ride-sharing operations in Macau, the firm said in a statement on its website.
We have fought hard every day to legitimise our Macau operations, unfortunately, we have still room for improvement on this issue, it added.
This was not an easy decision, but was made with the best interests of Macau in mind. We hope the decision will bring positive changes.
In a email sent to Uber users in Macau, the company said its efforts over the past 600 days to be included in the regulatory framework in the former Portuguese enclave had failed to achieve an ideal result.
By temporarily suspending business, Uber said, it hoped to open the door for a constructive dialogue with stakeholders in Macau and explore ways to serve the city again.
The company added that it had already entered initial discussions with business partners, including transport operators and hotels.
Uber’s withdrawal had already begun to draw responses from upset users on Monday.
It’s not fair! You guys are providing good job opportunities for locals and providing great customer service,why can’t the government see that? Taxi drivers always refuse rides, or give me an attitude when it’s a short ride that’s why I prefer Uber, one Facebook user said.
Uber Hong Kong, which was founded three years ago, is also struggling to gain the support of regulators in Hong Kong. It has so far served a million riders in the city, using more than 30,000 drivers, 80 per cent of them working part time.
Despite repeated calls by Uber for it to be properly regulated so it may operate legally, the government has refused and insists it must abide by current laws, which limit the number of hire car permits to 1,500 and do not cater to its business model.
Twenty-two Uber drivers were arrested in May on suspicion of driving without a hire car permit and third-party insurance, in a three-week undercover police operation that ended with a series of raids across Hong Kong.