New York, Paris, San Fransisco, London and other major metropolitan areas haven’t been the biggest fans of Uber throughout the years. Well, customers have been. Lawmakers and legacy taxi drivers — not so much.
Most recently, the rideshare service is reportedly facing fresh opposition from lawmakers in Taiwan, reported Bloomberg. Uber is currently available in four Taiwanese cities and has been downloaded by over 1 million people in the nation of just over 23.5 million — despite not exactly being legal.
But all of that could soon change for Taiwan. Three Taiwanese lawmakers want those caught driving for Uber to be fined as much as NT$25 million ($780,000) and to have their licenses suspended. A legislative hearing will be held Wednesday (Dec. 7) to discuss the draft legislation — and Uber’s future in Taiwan.
An Uber driver in Taiwan was quoted as saying at a press conference in Taipei: “The amount left me stunned. Did we commit murder or arson? Even drunk drivers are fined only NT$90,000.”
Ruling party lawmakers Ker Chien-ming, Wu Ping-jui and Liu Shyh-fang reportedly wrote that Uber infringed the rights of more than 80,000 taxi drivers, along with breaching Taiwan’s highway, competition and foreign investor regulations. Taiwan also claims that Uber misrepresents its service because it claims it operates as an internet-based technology platform instead of a transportation company.
“To avoid disputes with which the government cannot assist, situations where no compensation is available, companies and consumers should choose regulated and legal transport providers to protect their rights,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation wrote in a statement.
Additionally, Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications had previously asked major app stores by Apple and Google to remove Uber from their Taiwanese marketplaces. The request to Apple and Google would also include removing the UberEATS app. It’s unclear how Taiwan will handle the app if it has already been downloaded.