Uber Faces Ban in Taiwan For Operating ‘Illegal’ Service - Dispatch Weekly

August 4, 2016 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Uber, the ride-hailing service was accused by Taiwanese authorities of operating illegally, adding that a final decision will be handed down next week.

Uber has had a number of changes within the company. This week saw the $35 billion Uber-Didi deal confirmed, where Uber sold its Chinese operations to rival Didi Chuxing, ending the contentious two-year war.

In 2013, Uber began operations in Taiwan and the company and drivers began to amount fees of $2.5 million.


Last month cab drivers went to parliament in the capital Taipei to demand the government kick out Uber, which follows similar international protests.

Authorities claim that Uber does not have the right registration to operate as a taxi service.

Lin Kuo-hsien, a ministry spokesman said, “They (Uber) are registered as an information services provider, but what they’re doing is actually transportation.”

Therefore, consumers are unprotected. Lin pointed out that some Uber drivers have had individual licenses suspended and have fines of TWD $50,000.

Many drivers across different countries are beginning to question the working contracts and rates of pay.

Drivers from established taxi companies protested and gathered for a three-day strike against Uber in Paris this year in February.

The taxi union heads, Valls declared that tighter measures and restrictions on the VTC industry needed to be implemented, forcing companies like Uber to stop using certain salaried drivers.

Drivers in Nairobi have protested by waving picket signs with signs reading, “we should not be Uber slaves in our country.” This refers to a fare cut which was announced last week.

The Argument

The argument is that the Uber licence operates under a software company instead of a transport service. This does not protect customers when riding the taxis.

Executive Yuan government welcomed a discussion with Uber to which Uber agreed.

Uber told the BBC, “We thank the Executive Yan for demonstrating leadership and willingness to open a meaningful dialogue.”

“Uber is committed to Taiwan and to the tens of thousands of Taiwanese riders and drivers who rely on Uber every day.”

International Sanctions

Operating in more than 500 cities globally and worth more than $50 billion, Uber is now beginning to run into legal problems regarding the working contract and rate drivers are paid.

France fined Uber for running what they called, an illegal transport service that used non-professional drivers.

The Californian company were stopped from operating in Hungary after officials called the app, an “illegal dispatcher service.”

Tong Zhenyuan, a spokesman of the Executive Yuan said, “The government will take a comprehensive review and come up with a relevant policy and establish a system of fair competition.”

Questions continue to arise regarding the sustainability of an app that uses cheap labour and does not offer stability.

However, Uber says the main advantage for drivers is flexibility as 51 % of driver-partners work 15 hours or less a week, when they decide to work at all.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.