Hong Kong's transport minister has blasted controversial ride-hailing app Uber for it's "big ego".
US diplomats have been accused of lobbying for Uber behind closed doors as they attempt to set new rules within the industry to suit their business model.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post , the US consulate in Hong Kong has "reached out" to the city's traditional taxi drivers as they look to ease tension between them and their app based "competitors".
A recording which was obtained by the Post , revealed Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan telling stakeholders that Uber has "a big American ego" who thinks they are the boss and "rule setters".
Uber is facing an uphill struggle to legalise their product (ride-sharing) which is currently illegal in Hong Kong.
A number of protests have taken place by taxi drivers who oppose the illegal operations of Uber. Taxi drivers have even threatened to take more "drastic" action to defend their rights.
Mr Fan met with Uber representatives and advised them to ditch their ride-sharing business and to start operating within the law. One of his suggestions is to link with taxi drivers and offer the technology for them to use and in return to take a small commission from each journey.
Uber were considering offering a taxi service to run alongside their ride-sharing service, but Mr Fan has said it ,will only be considered if it is strictly "taxi's" only. Ride-sharing will not be tolerated.
Taxi leaders have now said that unless Uber close down their ride-sharing business and start operating legally they will not even consider any offers that may be put on the table by the highly controversial Silicon Valley firm.