Kakao Delays Launch of Ride-Sharing App

  • By Park Soon-chan, Kim Kang-han

    December 14, 2018 13:33

    Kakao Mobility on Thursday caved in to pressure from conventional taxi drivers and delayed the official start of its new ride-sharing app.

    Pilot operations of the service started last week, and the full-fledged launch was slated for this week, but the company apparently had a change of heart after the self-immolation Monday by a cabbie in protest against the new competition.

    At the National Assembly, Kakao Mobility CEO Jung Joo-hwan told a task force of the ruling Minjoo Party that the service's launch will pushed back to next year. But he also said his company will continue trial operations to gauge the potential effects of ride-sharing on the taxi industry while resolving technical problems and responding to various requests from users.

    Taxi drivers on Tuesday began sit-in protests around the National Assembly and plan to hold a mass rally in front of parliament on Dec. 20 with 100,000 people participating.

    The government is in a dilemma between giving in to conventional taxi drivers and encouraging new app-based services that offer greater convenience to customers and may in the long run prove irrepressible anyway.

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