02/11/2016 01:34 EST | Updated 02/11/2016 03:59 EST

Uber France Executives Face Possible Jail Time For Running Illegal Taxi Service

PARIS _ Two of Uber's top European executives are appearing in criminal court in France on charges of running an illegal taxi operation, and they could face jail time.

The ride-hailing company has since shut down the low-cost UberPop service that prompted the charges. The company continues to operate in France despite repeated strikes and sometimes violent tensions with taxis.

Thibaud Simphal, France general manager, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, chief for Western Europe, face up to five years in prison and a 300,000-euro ($338,000) fine each if convicted of all charges in Thursday's trial, which include violations of privacy law and allegations of commercial deception. Uber France faces a 1.5 million-euro ($1.7 million) fine.

Uber says the charges are unclear and the way the men are being prosecuted is questionable.