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Uber is "definitely illegal." Company says it will continue anyway.

Uber will continue, even if the government calls it illegal. 

By Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj | Mar 21, 2017

  • Uber is "definitely illegal." Company says it will continue anyway.
    A traffic jam in Bangkok. Credit: Gemma Longman (via Wikimedia Commons)

Yesterday, Uber had a meeting with the Ministry of Transport to try and solve their Uber vs taxis problem in a bid to get the existing Motor Vehicle Act to formally recognize ridesharing apps.

The result: the government has agreed to do a six-month study on whether the law should be revised or not. But the Department of Land Transport and Uber don’t seem to be on the same page over what happens with Uber in the meantime.

The Bangkok Post reports Sanit Phromwong, the director-general of Department of Land Transport as saying, "We have to enforce the law. Uber is definitely illegal." But Uber intends to carry on working anyway.

Amy Kunrojpanya, director of policy and communications for Uber Asia Pacific, even directly contradicts Sanit in the same article, stating to the Post, “Uber does not violate laws.”

We also contacted Amy for comment, who continued to press that Uber’s service does nothing illegal. “Ridesharing is a new type of service that is currently unregulated,” she said. “The Motor Vehicle Act, which was written in 1979, before mobile phones and the internet existed, does not govern the use of a smartphone application, or the technology that connects riders and drivers at the push of a button."

Though Uber has been asked to halt for 6-12 months while the Motor Vehicle Act is being reformed, Amy said she would continue anyway.

“Uber is committed to serving riders and driver partners in Thailand who rely on our services every day; and to working with the relevant Government agencies to formally recognize ridesharing, which is currently unregulated, through regulatory reform," continued Amy. "We are encouraged by the strong show of support from the Thai rider and driver partner community."

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