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Seoul plans to ban Uber and launch its own taxi app

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Uber's days in South Korea may be numbered. The city of Seoul has announced plans to ban the taxi-hailing app, citing concerns that the company threatens the livelihood of the city's taxi drivers. As a replacement, the city government plans to roll out its own GPS-based app by the end of the year, offering Seoul's citizens a similar experience without the predatory reputation that has dogged Uber in the past. An Uber representative said the company was disappointed with the decision. "Comments like these show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past," the company said in a statement.

Uber has made global expansion a new priority after a recent round of funding, which valued the company at $17 billion, but it has met with increasing resistance from local taxi commissions, which see the company as an existential threat. Taxi drivers have been particularly troubled by CEO Travis Kalanick's recent suggestion that Uber would eventually replace all taxis with self-driving cars. The service is already banned in various European cities, and drew criticism earlier this month for an Uber driver's high-speed chase in Washington, DC.