February 20, 2020 11:18
Two chiefs of ride-hailing app TADA were cleared of running an illegal taxi service on Wednesday by the Seoul Central District Court.
Park Jae-wook, the head of VCNC which operates TADA, and Lee Jae-woong, the CEO of parent company Socar, had been charged with offering illegal taxi services disguised as chauffeured vans under laws that had failed to catch up with the Uber generation.
TADA exploited a loophole that allows vans with 11 to 15 seats to be rented for chauffeured services after attempts to run an app-hailed cab service floundered on resistance from the conventional taxi lobby.
But the court on Wednesday accepted that a "short-term rental contract" existed between TADA and its users.
That means TADA services will continue and the four-month legal dispute has come to an end. The start-up community in Korea was ecstatic, saying the law clearly came down on the side of the future.
But not all uncertainties have disappeared, since prosecutors can still appeal, while lawmakers keen to truckle to the taxi-driver vote are considering a new law to ban ride-sharing apps altogether and maroon Korea in the last century.
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