Uber Technologies Inc is suspending its low-cost ride-hailing service in France, hoping to defuse an escalating legal dispute and sometimes violent tensions with traditional French taxi drivers.
The unusual concession comes after the stakes mounted this week in Uber’s standoff with France: Two senior European managers for the San Francisco-based company were detained on Monday and ordered to stand trial, charged with “deceptive commercial practices.”
It reflects the broader struggle of governments to keep up with fast-moving technology — and how to tax operations like Uber’s and protect workers and consumers.
Companies like Uber argue that governments are unfairly protecting entrenched industries instead of adapting to the times.
Uber has run into legal problems elsewhere in Europe, as well as in China and India.
The French battle centers around Uber’s low-cost service, in France called UberPop, which links users to drivers without professional taxi or chauffeur licenses.
Protests turned violent last week, with cars set alight and reports of UberPop passengers being attacked. French authorities had ordered it shut down, but Uber refused, pending a legal decision at a top French court.
Uber France chief Thibaud Simphaud said in an interview published yesterday in Le Monde that the company changed its mind “in a spirit of bringing peace” with authorities.
“Uber has decided to immediately suspend UberPop in France,” the US company said in a statement.
The decision to suspend the service “follows the acts of violence of the past two weeks,” it said. An Uber spokesman confirmed that the service was being suspended starting yesterday evening.
Simphaud and another European manager for Uber were detained this week and ordered to stand trial on Sept. 30. They are accused of six counts, including deceptive commercial practices, complicity in instigating an illegal taxi-driving activity and the illegal stockpiling of personal information.
Claiming unfair competition, taxi drivers staged a violence-marred strike last week, blocking many roads across France.
Uber’s regular app-based service, which connects registered drivers with riders, continues to function in France. Uber claims to have a total of 400,000 customers per month in France.
POTENTIAL SETBACK: Although Chinese chip designers and foundry firms already have US EDA software, they might be unable to update those programs under new US rules The US’ latest ban on advanced electronic design automation (EDA) software exports to China might hinder Chinese chip companies from accessing advanced semiconductor technology, as they attempt to upgrade to 3-nanometer processes in the next three to five years, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security on Friday announced bans on EDA tools for gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFET), a new-generation semiconductor technology that US chipmaker Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co from South Korea are adopting to make 4-nanometer and 3-nanometer chips. The bureau in a statement said that gate-all-around field-effect transistor
WIDENING THE FIELD: Human resources managers must drop prejudices regarding gender, appearance and age to find the best candidates, Micro Technology said The job market for Taiwan’s semiconductor industry remained tight this quarter, as hiring activity slowed from a record high last quarter, a survey released yesterday by online human resource firm 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行) showed. Ongoing labor shortages have prompted local semiconductor firms to recruit more women and foreigners in Taiwan and in Southeast Asia, the job bank said. The talent gap in the first quarter reached 35,000 people per month, a surge of 39.8 percent from the same period last year, as the contactless economy and digital transformation shore up demand for semiconductors, 104 Job Bank said in its annual report
POSITIVE CULTURE: Pursuing 12-inch wafers earlier than peers helped TSMC lead the industry, said a former executive, whose main regret was working for SMIC in China Corporate culture at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is what made the chipmaker a leading player in the global industry, a former executive said in an interview with California’s Computer History Museum. “One of the really important reasons that TSMC succeeded” is the culture at the firm, where “if equipment went down at two o’clock in the morning, we just called an equipment engineer,” and the worker would not complain, said former TSMC joint chief operating officer Chiang Shan-yi (蔣尚義). “We didn’t really do anything special, anything great, but we didn’t make any major mistakes,” when compared with competitors, such
Cloud computing equipment company Wiwynn Corp (緯穎科技), which counts Meta Platforms Inc as one of its key customers, is boosting capacity expansion in Malaysia through a new investment of about NT$1.94 billion (US$64.7 million), it said yesterday in a statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The investment, which aims to help the company with business development and strategic arrangements, would be made through subsidiary Wiwynn Technology Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd to build a new factory, Wiwynn said in the filing. The announcement came about one-and-a-half months after the company started phase II of its new server printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)