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.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to