Uber has launched a campaign urging supporters to email the transport minister in an effort to persuade the government to allow the firm to keep running in Hong Kong.

In an email sent to supporters, the transportation company has drafted a message for supporters to send to Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung’s office. The message is titled “Support Innovation in Hong Kong.”

The message reads: “I stand in support of Uber and the consumer choice, economic benefits, and [the] safe, reliable transportation that it represents.”

Uber urged users to send emails to the government in support.
Uber urged users to send messages to the government in support of the company.

The message asked Cheung to consider regulations that help “innovative technologies” that improve transportation.

Uber’s mass was sent to more than 50,000 supporters who signed a petition earlier in support of Uber.

The email template to the Secretary for Transport and Housing.
The email template to the Secretary for Transport and Housing.

Uber, a mobile car service app, was targeted by authorities last week as police raided its office and took away three staffers and seven drivers.

The international transportation company provides services similar to metered taxis. Users submit trip requests through a mobile app developed by the company, after which its drivers provide the service with their own vehicles. Uber sets up independent contracts with local drivers.

By law, vehicles carrying passengers for hire must obtain a hire car permit from the government. Violation of the law may result in a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment of three months on the first conviction, and a fine of HK$10,000 and up to six months’ imprisonment on the second conviction.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.