Uber plans to end services in Macau on September 9

In a letter to a local legislator, Uber's Asia head said the US taxi-hailing service provider will soon terminate its businesses in Macau due to the escalating crackdown through local policies.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Uber said it will end services in Macau -- one of China's two special administrative regions -- as soon as September 9 as local authorities show no real intention for a discussion on the identity issue of Uber under current regulatory framework.

Fines on Uber drivers charged by the police has reached 1 million patacas ($125,345) per week in Macau, while a number of Uber drivers have also been detained by the police "without any legal ground", Uber's manager in Asia Mike Brown said in a letter to a local legislator Au Kam San, posted on his Facebook account on Wednesday.

According to Uber, local police forces have charged over 10 million patacas in fines from over 300 Uber drivers in the past 10 months. The US firm indicated that it has hired over 2,000 full-time and part-time drivers in Macau, contributing over 21 million patacas in terms of economic benefits since its landing in the city.

Citing a public survey, Brown said in the letter that over 90 percent of local residents are in favour of rendering Uber a legitimate identity in Macau to provide better transport choices. The company has met a cold shoulder in its attempt to talk with Macau's transport authority, and its petition to the city's chief executive on August 16 also received no response, according to the letter.

But Uber apparently has not fully given up Macau, with Brown expecting the legislator to bridge a talk between the company and local authorities. Exiting Macau on September 9 will be the last option if no progress is made, according to the letter.

Since Uber landed in Macau in late October, 2015, private-car hailing services have been deemed illegal by Public Security Police Force due to their lack of operating licenses. Heavily relying on gaming revenues, Macau only covers around 30km with an estimated population of around 652,500.

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