Uber Suspended in Philippines After Showdown with Regulators
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 8/15/2017, 9:29 a.m.
Heather Kelly and Jethro Mullen
(CNN Money) -- Uber has gone offline in the Philippines after the startup once again clashed with regulators.
On Monday, Philippine authorities ordered the ride-hailing company to stop operations for a month. The company initially obeyed the order and suspended its service early Tuesday.
Hours later, it was back online after Uber filed an appeal with the Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
But the return was short lived: the agency rejected the appeal late Tuesday. Uber said it was disappointed but it complied with the order and stopped offering rides again.
"We look forward to urgently resolving this matter," it said in a statement.
It's the latest headache for Uber, which has a reputation for bulldozing through regulations around the world. The company has been beset by an avalanche of challenges over the past year, culminating in the resignation of CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick in June.
Uber's suspension in the Philippines prompted messages of frustration from many people on social media, who said the app was better than other transportation options available in Manila, the country's sprawling capital.
"Over the course of this morning, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on," Uber said after the initial suspension.
The transportation agency said Uber should offer financial assistance to its drivers as an act of "good faith." It blamed "the current predicament" on Uber's "predatory actions."
Uber ran into trouble in the Philippines for continuing to bring on new drivers after the agency suspended its accreditation process last summer, pending a review of the regulations.
Last month, Uber and local rival Grab were each fined and ordered to stop accepting and activating new drivers. The regulator said that while Grab respected the order, Uber continued to ignore it, resulting in the suspension.
Uber has said it continued to accept new applications but didn't process them.