Uber has been hit by a string of problems across the world, with London the latest city to threaten the firm’s growth.
Uber has just been banned from operating in Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 Olympics, and São Paulo is on the verge of banning the service for operating as an unregulated business.
Earlier this week, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes signed legislation banning Uber and similar applications from operating in the city. “Uber is forbidden,” he said. “We are open to discuss the matter, but it is forbidden.” Uber responded by saying: “It is a sad day for Rio.”
There have been several violent attacks in Brazil against Uber drivers.
In Paris, authorities raided Uber’s offices in March and two of its executives arrested in Juneappeared in court earlier this week. The hearing has been delayed so both sides can review evidence that has recently come to light. The pair, Thibaud Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, face up to five years in prison and fines of €300,000 (£220,000) per charge over allegations of fraudulent commercial activity, operating an illegal taxi service and maintaining illegal databases containing personal information of drivers and passengers.
Uber has become the focus of protests in France. In June, singer Courtney Love criticised the French president, François Hollande, claiming she would have been safer in Baghdad after her taxi got caught up in a protestagainst the Uber app.
Dutch police raided Uber’s offices in Amsterdam on Tuesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into whether the firm was violating the country’s taxi laws by operating a service that allows untrained drivers and those without a taxi licence to offer a cheaper service.
Uber’s efforts to break into the Vancouver taxi market have been met with resistance from cab drivers who took out an injunction against the firm in 2014. Uber adviser David Plouffe recently told the city’s board of trade that it was a shame the firm had not been welcomed.
In Toronto this week, mayor John Tory said his patience with Uber was wearing thin after the firm gave him what he described as “a one finger salute” to the council’s request for it to shut its cheaper service UberX.
Delhi banned Uber in December after a woman said she was raped by one of the company’s drivers. The incident provoked outrage at Uber’s failure to check whether its drivers had a clean police record. Uber claims it has tightened the ways it carries out background checks on drivers and improved safety measures.
Delhi’s transport department complained earlier this year that Uber was still operating, despite the ban. In June, police started enforcing the ban more rigorously by hailing cars from Uber and confronting them when they arrived. About 300 drivers from Uber and other banned services protested that the ban threatened their livelihoods.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010