Uber sought to dismiss rumors it had ceased operations in Thailand following a government declaration it was operating illegally.
In a message posted online, the U.S.-based ride-share service said it is continuing to operate while in discussions with authorities over regulations it was said to be violating.
“Over the last few weeks there have been numerous reports that Uber has ceased operations in Thailand,” it read. “This is not true. … As our conversations with various government agencies continue, let us make it clear that Uber is deeply committed to providing Thai consumers with access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation alternatives.”
Earlier this month, the head of the Department of Land Transport said it banned Uber’s use of unlicensed “black plate” vehicles, which link customers with private drivers under their “UberX” brand, citing safety concerns and a lack of regulation.
Under the law, cars used for public transportation must register under yellow or green plates. “UberBLACK,” the more expensive option which connects passengers to the green-plate limo service, was thought to still be operating legally in the kingdom.
Whether due to safety and regulatory considerations or challenges by entrenched interests such as taxi unions, Uber has faced challenges in a numbe of cities throughout the world recently.
Two incidents of reported rape of passengers this month by Uber drivers – one Dec. 5 in New Delhi and another Dec. 6 in Boston – have battered the service’s image as a safe means of transportation and called attention to how it screens its drivers.