French Uber Technologies is going to postpone its UberExplode ride-hailing service in France, the United states.S. enterprise said on Friday, after it confronted sometimes-violent protests and native legislators accused it one of the banned cab service.
On Monday, two senior Uber executives were arrested on suspicion of inciting people to work without paying the necessary social security charges on their income, according to local media reports.
The standoff reflects larger tensions in France over how to regulate fast-moving technology and stay globally competitive while ensuring labour protections. Companies like Uber argue that governments are unfairly protecting entrenched industries instead of adapting to the times. Protests have affected UberPOP drivers, taxi drivers, as well as passengers (memorably Courtney Love, who tweeted angrily at the French president for failing to control the situation a couple weeks ago). French authorities had ordered it shut down, but Uber refused, pending a legal decision at a top French court.
“We are happy to answer questions the authorities have about our service and look forward to resolving these issues”, it said.
Uber has been carrying on regardless, but now says it will suspend the service and wait for the Constitutional Court to determine the validity of the new law in a ruling expected by September 30. “Our regular UberX service, which uses licensed cars and makes up a majority of our trips each day in France, will continue to operate as usual”.
Claiming unfair competition, taxi drivers staged a violence-marred strike last week, blocking many roads across France. Uber claims to have a total of 400,000 customers a month in France.