Uber Bows to Taiwan’s Ride-hailing Regulations
Uber Technologies will resume its ride-hailing service in Taiwan on Thursday after coming to an agreement with the Taiwan’s transport regulators, according to Reuters.
Uber and the Taiwan transport authorities said that Uber would continue to operate as a technology platform company to develop the taxi and public transport system in Taiwan, and that Uber would partner with licensed transport companies.
“After constructive talks with transportation authorities, we are now partnering with licensed rental car companies to resume serving riders in Taipei,” Uber said in a statement.
“Starting today, people in Taipei can book an Uber ride, and we expect to bring Uber back to other cities in the near future,” Likai Gu, general manager of Uber Taiwan, said. “We want to partner with more transportation service partners in weeks and months to come, whether they be from rental car companies or the taxi industry.”
However, Uber’s operations will be scrutinized by Taiwan’s highway bureau, to ensure that it does not fall back into old habits.
What happened in Taiwan
In Taiwan, the issue was that Uber said it operated as an internet-based technology platform, and not as a transportation company, which local taxi companies and Taiwanese authorities have said was a misrepresentation of its service.
“Uber can provide taxi services in Taiwan if it conducts its business according to the government’s regulations and engages in fair competitive practices,” said Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan. Taipei Times – Uber must follow Taxi Regulations
Taiwanese authorities began imposing fines earlier this year on unlicensed ride-hailing services.
Uber halted its Taiwan operations on Feb. 10, after fines for unlicensed ride-hailing services were increased to T$25 million ($825,873) by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Uber has been operating illegally in Taiwan for three years, has accumulated fines of T$830 million, which remains outstanding and T$135 million in unpaid taxes. Uber is currently in litigation over the fines and in discussion with the Ministry of Finance’s National Taxation Bureau to resolved the unpaid taxes issue.