The ‘Uber Clause’: Company agrees to play by Taiwan’s rules

An amended regulation bans Uber from offering taxi services through business partnerships with local car rental operators

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(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Uber announced on Tuesday (Oct. 1) that it would follow Taiwan government policy and change its business operations.

The amended Article 103-1 of the Regulations for Automobile Transportation Operators, dubbed the "Uber Clause," took effect June 6. It bans Uber from offering taxi services through business partnerships with local car rental operators, according to a CNA report.

After a four-month grace period, violators will be subject to fines of NT$9,000 (US$285) to NT$90,000, starting Oct. 6, the report said.

The Uber statement said that after negotiating with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) for several months, Uber decided to change its business operations. As such, it will start to work with the taxi industry and serve “multipurpose” taxi drivers as an information technology platform provider.

Under Taiwan law, a multipurpose taxi is defined as a ride service when the driver is not legally required to use a yellow taxi, according to CNA. The fares are metered, but passengers must contact the drivers via an app.

According to the statement, Uber will continue to cooperate with the MOTC and ensure Uber drivers and car rental operators can become multipurpose taxi drivers. This process entails taking a multipurpose taxi driver exam, and obtaining a commercial driver's license.