Uber suspends its UberPOP service in Brussels

The controversial American taxi-hailing app Uber suspended its UberPOP service in Brussels, after a court ordered for the service to be shut down.

UberPOP relies on amateur drivers, using their own vehicles to take fares. The service was suspended by the Belgian court, after a complaint by taxi operator Taxis Verts.

"While we are still planning to appeal, an appeal would not suspend the verdict," Uber Belgium's general manager Filip Nuytemans told Reuters, adding that the service would be suspended late on Wednesday.

This does not, however, mean that the company will completely end its operations in the country. It still has the UberX service, which uses professional drivers. But unlike UberPOP, which had a thousand of drivers, UberX only has a handful.

"We have more than 50,000 Uber users in Brussels, who now only will be able to use UberX, a service that has only recently been launched," Nuytemans said. "We hope to let UberX grow as quickly as possible."

Uber is a company whose operations have been protested against across the world. Belgium, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, those are just some of the countries where taxi drivers have taken to the street to show their frustration with the service.

In most cases they argue the point that Uber, not being a taxi company but a tech company, does not fall under the same regulations as traditional taxis, thus having an unfair advantage.

Uber, an American company, is the most valuable start-up in the world, valued at more than $50 billion (£32.8bn).