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Much Tada about Uber

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By Jason Lim

I assume that the name of the ride-hailing service, "Tada," is a take on the Korean word meaning, "Get in," as in to get in a car. Of course, "Ta-da" is also the word that a magician uses right before they pull off a magic trick, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In South Korea's case recently, it seems that the magician shouted, "Ta-da!" but failed to pull anything out. There was no magic.

Instead, there was an indictment. Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office filed charges against Lee Jae-woong, the head of Tada. Prosecutors claim Tada had been operating without a proper taxi license for its 11-seater van ride-hailing service. This was the direct result of a complaint that the Seoul Private Taxi Association filed in February, accusing it of running an illegal taxi service.

The laws underlying this fight are interesting. Article 34 of the Passenger Transport Service Act states, "No person who rents a commercial motor vehicle from a car rental business entity shall use such a motor vehicle for transport with compensation," and "No person shall arrange a driver for a person who rents a commercial motor vehicle from a car rental business entity." However, the enforcement ordinance of the act permits companies to offer drivers when using rental vehicles with 11 seats or more, leading to........

© The Korea Times