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Rideshare giant Uber will shut down operations in Taiwan after conflicts with the government over the legality of its services. The move, effective February 10, comes just months after Uber pulled out of mainland China due to fierce local competition.
Uber currently serves four cities in Taiwan and has provided over 15 million rides since it arrived on the island four years ago. It seems as if the stoppage of service could be temporary, as Uber’s own press release is titled “Pressing Pause in Taiwan,” but it does’t indicate when or if Uber will ever return. The company hopes the move will “reset the conversation” with the Taiwanese government in hopes that officials will once again legalize its services.
Taiwan says Uber only has the right to operate as a tech company, not a transportation company. According to a government spokeswoman, Uber will need to re-register as a transportation company if it wants to continue operating there.
Taiwan has been penalizing Uber for some time now — most recently hitting it with $7.4 million in fines in January of this year. Further, Uber drivers caught using the app can now be fined up to $780,000.
Uber says it’s tried to work with the government by suggesting rideshare laws and regulations, securing a local insurance policy and initiating efforts to collaborate with the taxi industry, and called out the Taiwanese government for not embracing a “21st century transportation policy.”
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
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