Egypt's Administrative Court issued a verdict Tuesday ordering the government to shut down ride-hailing services Uber and Careem and close their mobile applications for allegedly violating Egyptian law. Those in favor of canceling the applications argued that it is allegedly illegal to demand a fee from customers when driving a privately-owned vehicle not registered as a taxi.
Careem said it had not yet received any official request to stop operations in Egypt, and continued to operate as normal.
The American Uber is present in many countries. In October Uber announced a $20 million (approximately Rs. 130 crores) investment in its new support centre in Cairo.
Drivers with Uber and Careem say they are harassed both by taxi drivers and by police - echoing concerns elsewhere in the region.
Prosecution authorities on Wednesday referred 30 people to Egypt's High State Security Court to face charges of establishing "cells" for the Daesh terrorist group and attacking churches, according to a local judicial source.
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Khaled al-Gammal, a lawyer acting for the taxi drivers, said the court suspended the two companies' licenses, banned their apps and suspended the use of private cars by the two ride-hailing services.
"They have to stop operations and block their mobile applications on the internet", he told AFP. "We will appeal this decision, and continue to be available in Egypt in the meantime".
However, Careem posted on Twitter "affirms the continuation of operations normally and it (Careem) has not been officially notified of ceasing its operations".
Uber Egypt's general manager Abdellatif Waked said: "We respect the rulings of the Egyptian judiciary". Uber's Waked said the company has been working with the government to draw up a ride-sharing legal framework.