Skip to main content

Uber narrowly avoids a shutdown in Egypt, but its victory may not last

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Uber has avoided another shutdown – at least, for now. Over the April 7-8 weekend, a court in Cairo, Egypt ruled that a previous decision to suspend Uber and other ridesharing companies’ licenses would not be upheld, allowing both the San Francisco-based transportation giant, as well as Dubai-based competitor Careem, to continue their operations. But like many victories in this space, the win is a tenuous one.

Last year, a total of 42 Egyptian taxi drivers filed a lawsuit against both Uber and Careem, claiming that the companies were using private cars as taxis, and furthermore, that Uber had falsely registered itself as a call center, while Careem claimed to be an internet company. Last month, the administrative court in which the suit was initially filed ordered the suspension of both companies’ licenses.

However, Uber and Careem took the legal battle to the Cairo Court of Urgent Matters, who has now ruled that the two companies can continue to work until a final decision is handed down from the Highest Administrative Court.

Careem claims that it has not been formally asked to cease its operations in Egypt, and as such, is continuing to embark upon business as usual. And judicial sources tell Reuters that the original decision to suspend the licenses has not yet been applied, and now that Uber and Careem have won their appeal (for the time being), things should continue running as usual.

That said, Uber has faced a slew of issues in the last several months, starting with the suspension of its license in London in 2017, and more recently, its decision to cease operations of UberX in Greece.

Uber will likely fight hard to stay in Egypt, as the company claims that the country is the largest market in the Middle East. In 2017, the startup boasted 157,000 drivers, and further claims that a total of four million individuals have used the service since its launch in 2014. And just a few months ago, Uber unveiled a $20 million investment in a new support center located in Cairo.

For now, Uber remains safe. But how long this sense of security will last is anyone’s guess.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Uber just got hit with a massive fine over how it classifies its drivers
uber settles driver background check case man driving in car the city ride share lyft getaround zipcar

It’s an issue that has been rumbling on ever since the first Uber hit the streets back in 2011: Are the men and women that operate vehicles on Uber’s platforms “employees of the company,” or are they, as an Uber executive once described them, “independent, third-party transportation providers”?

Uber has always considered them as self-employed, which exempts it from having to offer the kind of labor protections and benefits enjoyed by regular company employees, saving it a huge amount of money in the process.

Read more
It’s gonna be May 29: The Last of Us: Part 2 gets new release date
The Last of Us Part II

Earlier today, it was reported that The Last of Us: Part 2 would be getting delayed only a month after its release date was first announced. Now, we have confirmation from the game's director, and you'll have to wait a few extra months before you get the next chapter in Naughty Dog's tale.

In an announcement on the PlayStation Blog, director Neil Druckmann saidd The Last of Us: Part 2 will now launch on May 29, 2020, which is about three months past its original release date. Druckmann cited a commitment to quality above all else for the decision, and acknowledged how unusual it was to delay a game so soon after announcing a release date. The team realized soon after the announcement that it needs more time to polish the game to its usual high standards.

Read more
Uber says drivers aren’t an essential part of its business
Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West

Uber’s top lawyer said it would not comply with a California bill that would force it to treat its contract drivers as employees, claiming that drivers are not a core part of the company’s business.

Speaking on a conference call on Wednesday, Uber chief legal officer Tony West pushed back against the newly passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which will require app-based companies in the gig economy to reclassify their workers as regular employees.

Read more