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Uber Under Fire In Southeast China

Uber faces more legal woes abroad in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, where local Chinese news sources have reported that authorities have raided Uber's offices following reports of the business operating illegally.

The office was raided last week as part of a joint effort from the Guangzhou Transport Commission and police who have been targeting companies who have been "organizing private drivers to provide unlicensed businesses," according to the Chinese news site Caixin.

A statement released from the commission indicated that three government agencies collected equipment from Uber's office as part of the investigation, which included mobile phones. While the initial target was Uber, the agencies are also going after other car-hire services that are suspected to be operating illegally in the city, too. Caixin's report indicated that the transportation agency is attempting to crackdown on private drivers who are using apps to illegally run their own service without a proper license. It has cracked down on some drivers already, but Caixin reported that there's no direct link to Uber.

"Law enforcement departments have come down hard on such illegal businesses as they disrupt the market and we will not be soft on these activities in the future," the statement said.

Most recent legal troubles for Uber on an international scale include the Netherlands, where Uber has also been accused of operating illegally. Dutch prosecutors have waged a criminal investigation into Uber’s practices for allegedly offering illegal taxi services, which violated a court order. This marks another European country that is looking into banning Uber.

The allegations suggest that UberPOP, the company’s Amsterdam version, which works the same way as it does in the U.S., has grown in popularity but caused the same tension between taxi services that feel Uber has undercut its business models. A Dutch court banned UberPOP last December under the conditions that it was not meeting the region’s regulations for licensing laws.

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