Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing has suspended its ride-sharing service in Taiwan after being fined NT$181 million (US$6.18 million) by the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) for breaching the Highway Act (公路法).
The company in February introduced two types of service in Taiwan: One offered legal taxi drivers a taxi-hailing platform, while the other recruited unlicensed cab drivers for a ride-sharing service.
The DGH said it deemed Didi’s ride-sharing service to be illegal, because passengers sharing the ride not only had to pay for gasoline and toll fees, but also costs related to the depreciation of the vehicle.
Ride sharing is allowed for commuters as well as for travelers, but legally, the vehicle used must not carry passengers more than two times per day, the highway authority said, adding that ride-sharing passengers only need to pay for the gasoline and freeway toll fees and must not be asked pay costs related to the depreciation of the vehicle.
Drivers offering ride-sharing services would be considered to be taxi business operators if they carry passengers more than two times per day, therefore making Didi an illegal taxi service, the DGH said.
The DGH on March 22 issued nine tickets totaling NT$181 million to LEDI Technology Co, Didi’s authorized franchisee in Taiwan, the DGH said.
The Legislative Yuan last year passed an amendment to the Highway Act, which raised the fines for illegal taxi operators from NT$100,000 to NT$25 million.
The amendment was proposed following repeated breaches of the act by Uber, which was also deemed an illegal taxi operator.
“We have chosen to represent the world’s largest transportation platform with the intention of making the taxi business run more efficiently and offering better service to members of the public,” LEDI said, adding that it has received encouragement from many taxi drivers, passengers and ride-sharing drivers in the past few months.
“The value of ride sharing in Taiwan has been questioned by many as it has been abused by some who have turned it into an illegal business. It was never our intention to subvert the existing taxi industry.” LEDI said. “To avoid confusion for our ride-sharing service users, we will suspend our service starting from 6pm on Friday while we communicate with the administrative authority.”
LEDI has received the fines from the DGH and is preparing to present its case on the alleged violations, the company said, adding that it would resume its ride-sharing service after all legal issues have been resolved.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an