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Uber transforms into a domestic company in Taiwan

Uber transforms into a domestic company in Taiwan

(CNA photo)

Uber announced that it has transformed into a domestic company, effective from Monday (Dec. 7), which means those using its ride-hailing service through Uber App will no longer receive electronic invoices, nor will they be surcharged for payment using credit cards.

The mobility business of the American technology company in Taiwan made the announcement on Monday, one year after it joined Taiwan's "multipurpose taxi (MPT)" program, a government arrangement for the unconventional ride-hailing service to work with local rental car firms and also serve as a technology platform.

The MPT scheme allows app-based metering, upfront pricing and flexible vehicle appearances rather than the standard yellow of Taiwanese taxis.
Because it was previously categorized as an overseas electronic commerce operator, Uber had to issue electronic invoices to customers using its services via app under Taiwan's Business Tax Act.

Under that status, those paying the company for its services using a credit card were surcharged by the bank a certain percentage of the payment, since it was regarded as an overseas transaction.

Now that it has become a domestic company, Uber is exempted from the e-invoice requirement and its customers will no longer have to pay the surcharge on credit card payments, the company said, expecting growing business in the nation.

Uber Taiwan General Manager Raymund Li (楊思祥) said the company cooperated to seek its transformation last year so that it could run its business legally in Taiwan.

Since then, Uber has formed partnerships with six taxi fleets to offer ride-hailing services in eight cities, he added.

The cities where Uber drivers offer their services currently are Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhua and Kaohsiung, according to the company.

Since coming to Taiwan in 2013, Uber had triggered massive protests until recent years by local taxi drivers complaining about drivers using the ride-hailing app who are not licensed taxi drivers.

Because of the protests, Uber began collaborating with car rental operators in an attempt to continue its operations in Taiwan, but this collaboration failed to smooth over the controversy.

Eventually, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications moved to amend the transportation management rules to ban rental car businesses like Uber from offering taxi services and to require them to charge by hours and days, instead of charging based on mileage coverage.

The amendment has led to the formation of Article 103-1 of the Regulations for Automobile Transportation Operators, dubbed the "Uber Clause," in 2019.

The clause was promulgated June 6 that year, with a grace period for Uber drivers to acquire the required business and professional driver licenses to continue their business under the MPT scheme.

The deadline of the grace period, originally set for Oct. 6, 2019 was postponed until Dec. 1. Violators of the new scheme will be subject to fines of up to NT$90,000 (US$2,949).

Updated : 2022-01-25 02:41 GMT+08:00