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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Uber, Careem begin drafting a list of grievances with the Ride-Hailing Apps Act

LEGISLATION WATCH- Uber and Careem are drafting a list of their grievances with the Ride-Hailing Apps Act in the hope of winning amendments before the bill becomes law, officials from the companies said. The two objecting to a stipulation that would require them to ensure that half of their fleets are made up of white taxis. Careem experimented with using white cabs last year, but said quality of service was a challenge, Careem representative Hassan Aboul Seoud said. The companies are suggesting instead that they build and run separate apps that would exclusively employ white taxis.

Another sticking point: The requirement that the companies open user data to the government and store that data in Egypt, which the companies say would negatively impact users’ privacy.

The proposed bill would require drivers to own the cars they operate, whereas around 65% of Uber and Careem drivers use cars that are not theirs, MP Mohamed Badawi Dessouky said, according to Al Shorouk. Some are concerned that the apps will see a mass exodus of drivers if that stipulation remains unchanged.

The House of Representatives’ Transportation Committee is currently reviewing the bill and has pushed it to the top of its agenda, as we noted earlier this week. The committee expects to hear from the interior, transport, ICT, and finance ministries on the bill and will be holding hearings with representatives from ride-sharing companies themselves, according to Dessouky.

In news from the global ride-sharing industry: Uber appears to have ended its rivalry with Malaysia’s Grab earlier this week by selling it its business in South East Asia in exchange for 27.5% of Grab and a board seat. The move represents the latest shift in the global ride-hailing app space, which sees Uber retrenching after a bitter global expansion, according to the Financial Times.

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