City un­ac­count­able for EasyCard de­ci­sion: Ko

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) yesterday re­fused to get in­volved in the grow­ing con­tro­versy be­hind an EasyCard Corp. lim­ited edi­tion card cov­ers which will fea­ture Ja­panese porn star Yui Hatano ( ).

“Whether or not the card cov­ers are to be sold is a de­ci­sion to be made by EasyCard Corp. it­self,” the mayor said.

Ko said that even as the largest share­holder, the city has no di­rect con­trol over the com­pany’s de­ci­sions. The city gov­ern­ment is cur­rently the largest sin­gle stake­holder of the com­pany, own­ing a 40 per­cent stake. How­ever, the re­main­ing 60 per­cent is owned by other pri­vate com­pa­nies. As such, Ko said he could not han­dle mat- ters of the com­pany on a case by case ba­sis, stat­ing that it is up to the com­pany’s chair­man to re­port to its board of di­rec­tors.

Re­mark­ing that 60 per­cent of EasyCard’s prof­its even­tu­ally are forked over to pri­vate in­ter­ests, Ko said he rea­soned with the cur­rent co-chair­man of the com­pany Tai Chi-chuan ( ) that it should pri­or­i­tize busi­ness rev­enue over gen­er­at­ing prof­its.

Ko stated that the com­pany’s com­pos­ite struc­ture of public and pri­vate in­ter­ests was some­thing that would need to be clar­i­fied in the fu­ture, es­pe­cially fol­low­ing the con­tro­versy re­gard­ing Hatano’s brand­ing on a pub­licly con­trolled as­set.

City Coun­cil­lors Say No to Sale

Mean­while a num­ber

of

the city’s coun­cil­lors called on EasyCard not to pro­ceed with the planned sale of the Hatano card cov­ers in Septem­ber. In a joint press con­fer­ence with Tai­wan Women’s Link ( ) and End Child Pros­ti­tu­tion in Asian Tourism Tai­wan ( ECPAT,

), Coun­cil­woman Chien Shu­pei ( ) said that selling such cards amounted to dis­crim­i­nat­ing against women and mak­ing them into sex ob­jects. She added that the city could learn from mar­ket­ing tech­niques used by the Kaoh­si­ung-based iPASS sys­tem (

). Coun­cil­man Liang Wen-chieh ( ) gath­ered a pe­ti­tion of 15 Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party coun­cilors to also de­mand that EasyCard hold off on the sale. Law­mak­ers who signed the peti- tion also de­manded to know which char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tions the pro­ceeds of the sale would be di­rected to.

EasyCard later in­di­cated that the three foun­da­tions would in­clude: The Tai­wan Fund for Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies (

), Jing Chuan Child Safety Foun­da­tion (

) and the Tai­wan Ac­cess for All As­so­ci­a­tion (

).

Con­ve­nience Stores

Balk on Sales

Con­ve­nience stores 7-Eleven (

), OK Mart ( ) and Fam­i­lyMart ( ) have all at least tem­po­rar­ily put off selling the Hatano EasyCards, while HiLife ( ) will an­nounce its de­ci­sion on sales next week.

CNA

Taipei City Coun­cil­woman Chien Shu-pei speaks at a press con­fer­ence, yesterday. Chien and other women’s groups urged EasyCard Corp. not to go ahead with a planned sale of EasyCard cov­ers fea­tur­ing Ja­panese porn star Yui Hatano, say­ing that it dis­crim­i­nates against women and sex­u­ally ob­jec­ti­fies them.

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