The San Francisco-based technology company, which recently
suspended its services for the second time in the neighboring
Chinese city of Macau, told Reuters the price rises would
benefit drivers as they pocketed most of the fares.
Starting on Monday, minimum fees for UberX and UberASSIST rides
would rise by up to 80 percent to HK$45 (US$5.75). A ride with
the pricier UberBLACK would start at HK$65, instead of HK$50.
These fare hikes include an extra HK$5 booking fee levied by
Uber on all rides.
The company said in a statement the adjustments were "based on
an evaluation of the marketplace in Hong Kong."
An Uber spokesman suggested the increase in the minimum fare
would only result in a higher overall price for passengers
taking shorter trips.
"Riders traveling further, where the fee for the trip falls
above the minimum fare, won't see any change as a result of the
fare increase," he said.
Hong Kong authorities have clamped down on Uber's operations
many times. The latest crackdown was in May, when police
arrested 21 drivers for illegal car-hiring.
A Hong Kong court found five Uber drivers guilty of the same
crime in March and fined them HK$10,000 each. Uber has said it
would help the drivers to appeal and criticized authorities for
failing to keep up with innovation.
Hong Kong is not the only Asian city where the company has run
into regulatory problems, as it has also faced legal scrutiny in
Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
(Reporting by Sijia Jiang, Writing by Venus Wu; Editing by
Stephen Coates and Neil Fullick)
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