Government, critics put pressure on Uber
Online ride-share service Uber is under pressure from the government as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC, ) is unwilling to compromise with the online firm; the Transportation Ministry has already penalized Uber several times although the company still tries to attract customers.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, ) has also intervened. CEO of Hope Bay Technologies
) Chai Pen-chaio ( )
( has also criticized the company on Facebook. Chai stated: “This is the first time I fully support the government’s position,” implying that those who use Uber’s car service have no responsibility for damage claims in the event of a traffic accident, nor are they covered by any other form of insurance. Chai added that employees who use Uber should not be reimbursed for the expense by their company.
Chai, often called by the nickname “Chai shen” ( ), is wellknown for his various opinions on any topic related to the technology industry. Chai set out several rea- sons he is not a fan of the service. Uber can, in the case of a major accident, temporarily suspend their cooperation agreement. “What about non- major accidents?” Chen said, “After the roles and responsibilities are clarified, who is to settle the claims of the accident? In any event, it probably won’t be Uber,” Chai added.
Uber shows that they encourage the drivers they work with to add passenger insurance to their plans, but do not expressly require insurance plans, said Chai. “Why don’t they want the insurance plans? They ignore the freedom of hundreds of thousands of consumers who can choose their mode of transportation and disregard the guarantee of the rights of tens of thousands of consumers when they get in an accident,” said Chai.
“Weren’t these people managing before there was anything like Uber?” he said. Chai emphasized that his employees will not be reimbursed for their expenses if they use Uber.
‘I feel comfortable with my daughter using Uber’: Lee
Former Vice President of Google and Chairman of Innovation Works ( ) Lee Kai-fu (
) commented a few days ago on Facebook about the recent developments surrounding Uber in Taiwan. Lee stated “I feel comfortable with my daughter using Uber, I don’t feel comfortable with her riding a taxi.” Lee criticized Taiwanese authorities by maintaining outdated driving laws and rejecting the new innovation that Uber has brought. “They are letting Taiwan miss this technological revolution,” Lee said.
Lee also posted on Facebook an article by Tai Chi-chuan (
), founder of online start-up Richi, who criticized the government after they ordered Uber to suspend their service. Tai claimed that “Uber is safer, cleaner, more convenient, more affordable and energy efficient than taxis.”
Lee’s comments attracted over 4,000 “likes” on Facebook, and sparked much online conversation about Uber. Some have said that in some countries, Uber passengers have become victims of sexual harassment. However, Lee responded by reminding that Uber cars have recording devices installed in all of them, which acts as a deterrent to such behavior.