Gov­ern­ment, crit­ics put pres­sure on Uber

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ZANE KHEIR

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.

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