Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have raided the local office of online ride-hailing service Uber on suspicion of “unlicensed operation,” seizing a number of mobile phones, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
“The company is suspected of unlicensed operation and conducting illegal business by allowing private car owners to offer taxi services,” an official with the city’s traffic authority told Xinhua of the raid which happened on Thursday.
The official said Uber was not specifically targeted, as the raid was part of a broader crackdown on illegal taxi services by private drivers.
A representative for Uber in China could not immediately be reached for comment by telephone and an email seeking comment was also not immediately responded to. Friday is a national holiday in China.
Uber is a comparative latecomer in China, where mobile taxi-hailing app users are set to triple to 45 million by 2015 compared with 2013, according to Chinese research firm iResearch.
Domestic firm Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, backed by tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., respectively, have 90 percent of the market sewn up. The two said in February they would merge.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Greg Mahlich)
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