Thai government, standing fast against Uber, offers taxi app

Thailand's government is cracking down on private car-hailing services such as Uber and plans to introduce its own taxi app to appease passengers.

Thai transport officials said Thursday that services using private vehicles to transport passengers, such as Uber or Southeast Asia's GrabCar, are illegal because the vehicles aren't registered for public transport.

Thai authorities have threatened repeatedly to shut down private car ride-sharing services, and recently have cracked down by fining individual drivers.

Apps that call licensed taxis such as GrabTaxi, part of the same company operating GrabCar, are legal.

The government plans to introduce its own cellphone app, TAXI OK, for passengers to call government-endorsed taxis featuring GPS tracking systems and closed-circuit cameras.

Uber issued a statement saying it would continue to seek to have ridesharing legalized.