Lebanese people have been told not to use Uber but to flag down “traditional” taxis instead after an Uber driver was arrested over the murder of a British diplomat.
Lebanon’s interior minister, Nohad Machnouk, called Uber a “virtual” entity which is “not safe”.
He urged Lebanese to use “traditional” taxis.
Mr Machnouk said the driver, who has allegedly confessed to killing and attempting to rape Rebecca Dykes, had a criminal record.
The body of Ms Dykes, 30, who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut, was found next to a road in the east of the Lebanese capital on Saturday.
The interior minister did not reveal what the driver had been convicted of.
Lebanon’s Al-Nahar newspaper said the 29-year-old driver was sentenced to six months in prison a decade ago for stealing a motorcycle.
A Lebanese judicial source also earlier told AFP the suspect has a criminal past and was arrested twice for alleged harassment and theft related to customers – a claim denied by Uber.
Mr Machnouk’s warning came on the same day the EU ruled Uber should be regulated like a transportation company and not a technology service.
US-based Uber said it was “horrified” by Ms Dykes’ murder and it is assisting in the investigation.
The company said its drivers in Lebanon must be licensed taxi drivers with no criminal record.
A local forensics officer said multi-lingual Ms Dykes was strangled with a rope after leaving a night out with work colleagues in the Gemmayzeh area at about midnight on Friday.
Lebanese media initially said choke marks had been found on her neck and that she had been raped. It was later claimed she had a piece of string around her neck.
According to Ms Dykes’ LinkedIn profile, she had been working as a programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development (DfID) on the UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme in Lebanon.
She was a former pupil of Malvern Girls’ College and Rugby School, and had spent time at a Chinese international school in Hong Kong where she grew up.
Uber finally named Barney Harford as its new COO on Wednesday, six months after founder Travis Kalanick was forced to resign following accusations about sexual harassment and the company’s workplace culture.
Last week a US judge unsealed a letter from a former Uber security specialist accusing the company of stealing technology from Waymo, Google’s driverless car unit.