Kakao Halts Ride-Share App Trial Over Taxi Protests

  • By Kim Kang-han

    January 16, 2019 12:18

    Kakao has slammed the brakes on a ride-sharing app it had been trialing in Seoul for 39 days on Tuesday due to fanatical opposition from established taxi drivers, two of whom set themselves on fire in protest.

    Korea's biggest messaging app operator in a press release on Tuesday said it will first try to reach an agreement with taxi drivers and added it could "scrap" the ride-share app if talks fall through.

    Kakao launched the app on a trial basis on Dec. 7 and planned to roll it out 10 days later. But a cab driver self-immolated just a week into the trial, prompting Kakao to delay the official launch. Another driver set himself on fire in early January.

    The ruling Minjoo Party hopes to bring taxi drivers, government officials and Kakao staff together for talks, but cabbies have been refusing to sit down for talks as long as the trial continued.

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