Uber could be fined NT$25 million

By Sun Hsin Hsuan ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Uber Taiwan could be looking at a penalty of up to NT$25 million if it continues to operate without a license in the country next January, Transportation Minister Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Wednesday. A legislative committee Wednesday morning passed the first reading of a Highway Act (公路法) amendment, which would increase penalties doled out to drivers and companies for the unauthorized operation of transportation services. If approved, guilty parties would be subject to a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$25 million, plus vehicle and driver’s license revocation for a period of up to two years. Current law stipulates that businesses and persons who operate transportation services without a business license can be fined from NT$50,000 to NT$150,000, and their vehicle license can be confiscated for 2 to 6 months. The Highway Act draft revisions introduced Wednesday also establish an incentive system for informants to encourage the public to report illegal operations. The new amendment gives law enforcement room to punish violators based on the size of their illegal operation, Ho Chen said, explaining that independent drivers would be subject to lighter fines while companies would be fined from NT$1 million and above. Management, taxation, and insurance are the three fundamental aspects to be covered by the new regulations, Ho Chen said.

AIT’s Opinion Ho Chen confirmed rumors that U.S. authorities had contacted the ministry over the Uber issue. He said U.S. government agencies and business enterprises had “expressed concerns” regarding the regulations set to be introduced amid the proliferation of ride-sharing services in the country. He stressed that the amendment would proceed as planned and would take effect as soon as January 2017 if the bill were passed in the current legislative session.