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South Korea charges Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

December 24, 2014

Prosecutors in Seoul have brought charges against the US founder and CEO of the smartphone taxi service Uber, Travis Kalanick. Authorities say Kalanick was indicted for violating passenger transport laws.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Lawyers representing the South Korean government indicted Travis Kalanick, founder and CEO of smartphone taxi service company Uber, on Tuesday. Kalanick was found to have operated an illegal business, according to local media reports.

The Uber chief was indicted in absentia by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, the Yonhap news agency reported. Another local taxi service, who's CEO went by the name of Lee, was also charged under a law regulating passenger transport, but was not immediately arrested.

It wasn't clear whether Kalanick would come to Seoul for trial.

Seoul's local city government filed complaints saying Uber's operations raised concerns about passenger safety and threatened the livelihood of licensed taxi drivers. Authorities launched a crackdown on drivers and rental cars that operated with Uber.

A reward of up to one million won (around $900) was offered for information on Uber's activities.

South Korean drivers have been angry that Uber has taken over a chunk of their business. Uber, a mobile phone app which connects taxi drivers to passengers, sparked angry protests by taxi drivers in France and Germany earlier this year who felt threatened by the app's growing popularity.

The company was also banned in the Indian capital New Delhi earlier this month after one of it's drivers allegedly raped a woman passenger.

mg/jm (AFP,dpa)