JAKARTA (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] said on Tuesday it had received the green light from the Jakarta governor to operate in the Indonesian capital after giving assurances that it would comply with local tax rules and other requirements.
Jakarta police had earlier this year deemed the U.S. car-hailing service illegal, saying its drivers did not pay the correct taxes and the company did not have the license needed to operate as a form of public transport.
In a statement, Uber said it is working with the office of the city’s governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, and Indonesia’s investment coordinating board to establish itself as a legal entity in Indonesia, pay taxes, have adequate insurance and ensure its “partner vehicles” undergo regular inspection.
“Previously there was tremendous regulatory ambiguity,” Uber spokesman Karun Arya said in an email.
“Governor Ahok has now provided clear direction for Uber in terms of specific requirements for Uber and other ride sharing platforms to operate and thrive in Jakarta.”
Uber has registered with Indonesia’s investment coordinating board as a technology or web company, Arya added.
There was no immediate comment from the Jakarta governor’s office.
Privately owned Uber has grown aggressively worldwide with its matchmaker service for drivers and passengers, but a lack of regulation for the relatively new business model has brought it to the attention of authorities.
The company is also facing stiff competition from rivals U.S.-based Lyft, China’s Didi Kuaidi, Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi and India’s Ola, which recently formed a global ride-sharing partnership.
In Indonesia, Uber currently operates in Bali, Bandung and Jakarta, a city notorious for its traffic congestion and lack of public transport.
In an email, Uber said it planned to expand to more cities in Southeast Asia’s largest economy next year, and would boost the number of its drivers to 100,000 by 2017 from more than 12,000 currently.
Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Miral Fahmy