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Egyptian court orders suspension of ride-hailing apps Uber, Careem

Egyptian court orders suspension of ride-hailing apps Uber, Careem

Uber and Careem have recently introduced taxi motorbikes and three-wheeled motorised rickshaws, known as "tuk-tuks", as new services in some areas in the most populous Arab country.

An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered authorities to revoke the operating licenses of the Uber and Careem ride-hailing services and block their mobile apps and software.

The lawyer representing taxi drivers, Khaled al-Gamal, told a French wire service that the ruling would have to be implemented by the government even if Careem and Uber appeal.

In response to the court order, Uber issued a press statement saying: "We respect the ruling of the Egyptian judiciary but we can not give a detailed comment on ongoing procedures, we will appeal to the court and it is important to make it clear the decision does not mean the suspension of Uber's driving service in Egypt".

However, he stressed the Egyptian government would be obliged to suspend Uber and Careem services if there was a final judicial verdict that ruled that way.

Careem said it had not yet received any official request to stop operations in Egypt, and continued to operate as normal.

According to Bloomberg, the ride-sharing companies said they would continue operations in Egypt, pending reconsideration of the court ruling ordering them to halt operations.

Uber is "fully committed to working with the entire sector - including taxis - to improve mobility in Egypt together", Abdellatif Waked, the company's general manager in Egypt, said in emailed comments. "We will do all we can to ensure millions of Egyptians can continue to enjoy the benefits of on-demand transportation". Uber had 2 million users in Egypt in 2016, giving jobs to 60,000 drivers, it said. It has had to make deals with local auto dealerships to provide its drivers with affordable vehicles and adjust its fares to ensure its workers were not hit too hard by inflation. It follows legal challenges Uber has faced in countries around the world.

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. It has been forced to quit several countries, such as Denmark and Hungary. Its licence was revoked past year in London. Uber is appealing against the decision.

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