Tada ex­ec­u­tives in­dicted for ‘il­le­gal’ ser­vice

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL -

Pros­e­cu­tors in­dicted the heads of Tada, a ride-hail­ing ser­vice, Mon­day, declar­ing the app-based busi­ness “il­le­gal.”

Lee Jae-woong, chief ex­ec­u­tive of car-shar­ing app op­er­a­tor SoCar, and Park Jae-uk, chief ex­ec­u­tive of its ren­tal car hail­ing ser­vice unit, Value Cre­ators & Com­pany (VCNC), face charges, with­out phys­i­cal de­ten­tion, of run­ning a trans­porta­tion busi­ness with­out a li­cense, the Seoul Cen­tral District Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice said. VCNC op­er­ates the Tada ser­vice.

An as­so­ci­a­tion of taxi driv­ers in Seoul filed a com­plaint against the two busi­ness­men in Fe­bru­ary.

Tada was launched in Oc­to­ber 2018 and has rapidly grown to be­come Korea’s lead­ing ride-of­fer­ing ser­vice. It op­er­ates mostly in the Seoul met­ro­pol­i­tan area.

Taxi driv­ers claim that Tada threat­ens their liveli­hood and vi­o­lates Trans­porta­tion Law that for­bids rented ve­hi­cles from of­fer­ing rides in ex­change for money.

Tada ar­gues its busi­ness is within le­gal bound­aries based on a writ­ten ex­cep­tion that specif­i­cally al­lows rented vans — or vans with 11 to 15 seats — to be of­fered with driv­ers.

The lo­cal taxi in­dus­try ar­gues this is an arbitrary applicatio­n of the rule, ir­rel­e­vant to its orig­i­nal pur­pose of pro­mot­ing tourism.

At is­sue will be whether Tada should be con­sid­ered as a type of ren­tal car ser­vice or an il­le­gal taxi ser­vice operating with­out a li­cense.

“Tada users think they are hail­ing a cab, not rent­ing a car,” an in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the pros­e­cu­tion of­fice said. “The truth be­hind Tada’s ser­vice is that it is a paid taxi ser­vice, not a ve­hi­cle ren­tal busi­ness that comes with a driver.” Tada said it will make clear in any trial that its ser­vice is a le­gal busi­ness that is meet­ing chang­ing cus­tomer de­mands in the trans­port in­dus­try.

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