Thailand has offered suspension to both Uber and its regional competitor Grab because the country claims that these two businesses have broken the rules of the country and is competing with the local companies that are registered transport.
Authorities in Thailand have already arrested around 66 drivers that are working for the said companies. These offenders are said to be paying around 4,000 baht each or equivalent to $112 and there is a risk that they may have their license suspended.
There is no clear statement as to the length of the ban but both companies are now doing whatever they can in order to solve the problem. According to a statement released by Uber, the ban is just a temporary pause for the company before they start their global pilot. The company is positive that they will resume operation as soon as they can and they believe that it will happen since they have been discussing things with Thai authorities in a positive and productive manner.
On the other hand, Grab company sent an email as a statement which states that Grab Thailand is considered as a local company and they aim to provide safe transport for all the passengers as well as helping drivers improve the current life conditions. In addition, GrabBike service follows the proper guidelines in operating and is working alongside with other complementary transport services.
The issue started three months after the introduction of two-wheeler services by Uber in the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok. Motorcycle taxis are very common in Bangkok because it has the ability to pass through the traffic within the city and would cut passengers a lot of travel time.
In Thailand, there are currently around 186,000 motorcycle taxis that are legally registered and half of the population can be found in Bangkok. This type of service is also common to other Asian countries like Manila and Jakarta.
The problem started with the apps developed by Uber and Grab in order for passengers to easily hire them which present a difficult competition for the local traditional services. Moreover, there is a claim that these companies are based abroad and are stealing jobs in Bangkok that are rightfully for the locals.