Uber is sued in US city portland
Uber has been ordered to stop services in Thailand Reuters

In a fresh blow to the ridesharing service Uber, transport authorities in Thailand said the company's operation in the country is against its laws, and ordered the firm to stop services.

In Thailand, the Uber app is helping match owners of private vehicles and passengers with its own fare structure, while regional services such as GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi work with traditional taxi firms, using regular meters to calculate fares.

Use of personal vehicles for commercial purposes is punishable in Thailand with fines of 2000 baht ($61).

The regulators added that Ubers' credit-card payment system is not in compliance with existing regulations.

"They have to stop operations immediately," director-general Thiraphong Rodprasert told reporters after meeting officials from Uber, GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi to discuss regulating internet taxi services.

Uber had completed its latest funding round earlier, valuing it at $40bn (£25.6bn, €32.6bn) ahead of its planned initial public offering.

However, the US company has recently suffered a number of blows to its international expansion plan.

On 8 December, the company was banned from operating in India's capital city New Delhi, after one of its drivers was arrested on charges of raping a female passenger.

The 26-year-old woman, who used Uber's smartphone app to book a taxi on 5 December, was allegedly taken to a secluded area and raped.

The service was earlier banned in the Netherlands, as it lacked a special license that was required according to the laws of the country.

The US city of Portland sued the firm for not following the city's regulations. The city laws require all for-hire vehicles to be licensed, and it wants Uber to follow them.

Until it complies with the laws, Portland wants Uber to shut down operations within city limits.

(With inputs from Reuters)