Uber Technologies halts move of its Asia headquarters to Hong Kong

Uber Technologies

Uber Technologies has halted a plan to move its Asian headquarters to Hong Kong in another business blow for the Chinese-ruled town, choosing to expand its stay at Singapore till at least December 2022.

KEY POINTS:

  • Ride-sharing titan Uber Technologies has halted plans to move its Asian HQ to Hong Kong
  • The move comes in the wake of the Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong
  • The company’s Asian headquarters will remain in Singapore

The announcement comes following China enacted a federal safety law for Hong Kong, which has awakened worries over its potential as a hub for global business.

International technology companies there are concerned that the law provides the Chinese government access to data and the ability to censor content.

Uber said its decision to delay the movement, mooted in May, was predicated on too little progress. It declined comment on the safety law unveiled.

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Hong Kong does not have any legislation enacted solely for regulating ride-hailing programs and it’s prohibited for vehicles that are not licensed as taxis, or have a hire car license, to transport passengers for a charge.

Uber has been lobbying the government for change.

“We have seen strong public support for reform, but not the level of certainty from the government that we need,” Uber explained in a statement.

The Hong Kong authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, international tech giants with a presence in Hong Kong, such as Facebook and Google, are assessing the impact of the security law that gives China ability to demand that they turn over user data or censor content seen as violating the law – when submitted from abroad.

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Just last week, South Korean online giant Naver Corp said it had moved servers keeping its customers’ personal data from Hong Kong to Singapore.

Uber Technologies Inc doesn’t provide its services in Singapore, where it has about 90 workers.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore. Additional reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Carol Mang in Hong Kong. Editing by John Geddie and Robert Birsel.

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