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August 4, 2016

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Home » Business » Transport

Uber may have to drive out of Taiwan

TAIWAN’S Investment Commission said yesterday it is set to order Uber Technologies Inc to exit the domestic market, saying the global ride-hailing giant misrepresented its business as an Internet-based information technology platform rather than a transport service.

Emile Chang, Executive Secretary at the commission, said a final decision will be made by August 11. The commission oversees Taiwan’s inbound and outbound foreign investments.

The move comes amid a major strategic shift at Uber that will see its operations in China’s mainland taken over by a mainland firm. Earlier this week, Uber said it was selling its mainland business to rival Didi Chuxing after a bruising two-year price war in a challenging market.

Taiwan’s decision adds to a string of official complaints aimed at the fast-growing US start-up. It has faced similar legal scrutiny in markets across Asia, including in Hong Kong and the mainland.

“Taiwan’s government has communicated many times with Uber ... The worst scenario is to order it to leave the market,” Chang said, adding Uber can appeal the decision to Taiwan’s cabinet.

Likai Gu, general manager of Uber Taiwan, said the firm hopes Taiwan authorities will “rule in favor of innovation” and “open a meaningful dialogue with Uber.”

“We want to work with the Taiwanese government to help them understand the role of technology in creating economic opportunity and meeting the transportation needs of Taiwan,” Gu said.

Uber entered the Taiwan market in 2013, sparking anger from local taxi drivers.


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