Another Uber office in China faces government scrutiny

Uber's business continues to operate without disruptions, according to the company

Chinese authorities visited an Uber office in the country on Wednesday, just a week after another company office faced a local police raid over its ride-hailing service.

Local authorities came to Uber's office in the Chinese city of Chengdu, Uber confirmed in en email. But the visit was "routine," it added.

"There are no disruptions to the Uber platform, and it's business as usual," the company said.

Chengdu authorities have opened an investigation against Uber, but its office has not been closed, according to local media. Uber did not elaborate, and Chengdu's Transportation Committee could not be immediately reached for comment.

The visit follows a police raid of an Uber office in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, reportedly for letting private drivers use the ride-hailing service without proper qualifications.

Uber recently entered the Chinese market. But its practice of helping private car owners connect with customers in need of ride was banned in the country earlier this year.

However, Uber is still operating in the country, and has managed to sidestep the ban, by employing licensed car rental firms to offer its ride-hailing service, although the prices can be high.

In addition, the company also offers a "People's Uber" service, that still attempts to help private car owners find customers wanting transportation. The customer fees for this service tend to be lower than local taxi fares, and Uber claims to make no profit from it.

People's Uber is available in Chengdu and Guangzhou besides several other Chinese cities.

On Wednesday, Chinese media uploaded photos showing local officials visiting the Uber office in Chengdu.

As of Thursday, the Uber service in Chengdu was still online. Uber has said it's cooperating with the authorities.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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