Uber? Should Taiwan allow Uber to operate?


#41

But without taxation – every government service is paid for on a “user pay” basis – where would the money for those primary school scholarships come from? (Sorry to go off topic…)

Is the government actually opposed to Uber per se? Is the government actually opposed to foreign companies operating in Taiwan? The government’s argument is that Uber refuses to obey the law. If it obeyed the law, would it no longer be Uber?

If Uber believes it is obeying the law, it can of course sue the government. If it exhausts all the types of appeals that are possible within Taiwan and is still not satisfied, it can turn to the international community and expose the hideous violation of its rights, discrimination against foreigners and all that. :2cents:


#42

As I said earlier, I wasn’t suggesting governments should not raise any revenue, at all, ever. I was just pointing out that taxation, as a concept, doesn’t work anymore. It’s broken. There are dozens of different ways the government could ask citizens (or corporations) to contribute to the public good.

Bear in mind that most people do have some sense of patriotism. If you literally did eliminate taxation, you’d get a lot of people asking: ‘so how can I help my country succeed?’. I suspect you could set up an entirely voluntary system of ‘tax’, and people would still contribute.

They’re not saying that explicitly, but that’s the impression I get.

No. Only companies that are likely to disrupt their voter base, or cause them extra ma fan.

What law, exactly, has Uber broken? It seems to me that government lawmakers are re-interpreting laws to fit their personal biases.

If you’re alluding to laws regulating ‘professional’ drivers, I’m arguing that this is a stupid law. It’s an artificial distinction designed to create a ‘license raj’, ie., a protected monopoly maintained by payment of bribes to those with authority to issue licenses. This is a very ugly area of law that deserves to be contested.


#43

I guess you won’t be happy about this:

Also on Friday, the legislature cleared an amendment that requires international e-commerce operators to pay business tax in Taiwan.

According to the amendment to the Value-added and Non-Value-added Business Tax Act (加值型及非加值型營業稅法修正案), international e-commerce companies must register their presence with the tax authorities or face a fine of up to NT$30,000. Companies that fail to file their tax returns may also be fined up to NT$30,000, according to the amendment.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) said the amendment would close a loophole that allows international e-commerce companies, such as Google, to not pay taxes in Taiwan.

As for Uber, the government claims it’s violating the Highway Act. I haven’t read it, so I can’t tell you which articles are involved, but afaik Uber is not claiming that the government’s interpretation of the law is incorrect, just that they don’t think they should have to obey it. Presumably there are also violations of the Income Tax Act, and if the drivers are being misrepresented as non-employees, there are labor law violations as well.

There are many things I would change about the law in Taiwan, but to get back to Brian’s point, should large companies be allowed to break the law while ordinary people have to folllow it?


#44

yyy: it’s precisely that kind of bullshit that portends the end times. Admitting the existence of loopholes is an admission that something is fundamentally flawed. You push on the economy at this point here, and you create a bulge over there. It’s like a balloon full of water.

What on earth is an ‘e-commerce’ company? The definition will change from one week to the next. Why can’t governments just accept that employment, corporations, and the fundamental nature of economic activity is not the same as it was in the 18th century? It’s time for a re-think.

Absolutely not. I was arguing that the government’s convoluted tax laws create this problem in the first place. For example, it’s time to look again at the idea of corporations as legal persons; it makes a lot less sense today than it did 200 years ago.


#45

If they supported local drivers, then maybe they would cover the fines that the drivers have to pay if they were caught. Last time I checked, Uber doesn’t do this.

I’m curious as how Uber supports local drivers besides employ them. How I see it is they pay them under the table and then not support them when they need to pay that 25 million NTD fine.

Not sure if I would like that as an employee of a company.


#46

I think they said they would pay fines for drivers in France. I don’t know about Taiwan…


#47

I absolutely agree a re-think is needed. :slight_smile:


#48

I would have to go digging for the article, but I do remember reading that earlier this year a police officer pulled over an Uber driver and fined him around 30-40k NTD. So I’m lead to believe, Uber does not have driver’s backs in TW. I’ll edit this post if I find the article.


#49

The government has gone very easy on Uber so far.

Remember if you or I tried these stunts we’d be fined and deported in short order.

There are many companies both existing and yet to exist that can take Ubers place in this market.
They will pay their taxes and welfare contributions and insurance.

So Uber can keep sucking up those steadily increasing fines and burning their shareholders capital.


#50

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/afav/201512060010.aspx

I’m too lazy to produce a more recent link with more recent data, but Uber has paid a substantial amount of driver fines. It took less than thirty seconds to find this, but unfounded conjecture is always best right? Drivers will tell you all about this if asked, btw. A cop making a driver pay some random fine on the spot sounds like shady policing to me, don’t know why anyone would conclude “Uber does not have driver’s backs” based on that.


#51

I didn’t mean they support them directly. I meant that those drivers are still employees of Uber basically and it’s not like we’re just contributing solely to a foreign company by choosing to drive with uber. EDIT: http://udn.com/news/story/1/2153789
The 25 million fine that you speak of has only passed the first reading as of the 7th and amendments to the law haven’t been finalized yet. Furthermore, Uber seems to still be covering the fines of the drivers as far as I can see so I do not have an issue with it at this point. Why have Taxi company’s not spent this time to improve on their services to offer something that would be able to compete with Uber, rather then whine about rules and regulations? To be honest it doesn’t take much for me to choose to ride with them Again. But rules and regulations aside there is a reason why consumers elect to choose Uber as their method of commute instead of local Taxi companies. Those taxi companies should be evaluating what the reasoning is and trying to better themselves. Take Mcdonalds for example, where I was employed in my teenage years. One of the most important things about customer service that they do teach is that complaints are not negative things. That they serve as opportunities to to correct ourselves and find ways that we can satisfy customers and I think that way of thinking is invaluable in any business situation.


#52

Really? Uber recognizes its drivers in Taiwan as employees? (We’re talking about 僱傭 here.)


#53

And what exactly is your definition of 僱傭? an occupation by which a person earns a living; work; business. Is this any different?


#54

Pay up already Uber or face the multi billion NTD fine consequences!!! :joy:


#55

The difference between employment and mandate (委任) can be worth a lot of money, which is why many companies deny their workers are employees when they end up in court (either sued by the employees who want severance pay etc. or suing the government to get out of paying the fines for violating labor laws).

My definition doesn’t matter. The Civil Code’s definition is what’s supposed to matter, but it gets complicated sometimes.


#56

If it’s such an easy model to copy as you say, regardless of the fact that Uber actually designed the app and created new standards which attracted consumers, why hasn’t it been done yet? In the four years since the whole Uber battle begin I’ve only heard about Taxi companies demoing a new app and that was about it.

And you somehow seem to have arrived at the conclusion without actually doing much research on the topic. Its not as simple as just copying the concept or the app locally. And while it has mainly to do with the tax evasion , obviously , other Taiwanese startups such as My ride? I think it is I’ve looked at their setup and you can basically request a ride through line, as well another delivery service turned rideshare app called Letsride which started here in Danshui I believe, both have had their shares of difficulty due to the outdated laws that are in place really.

So it’s not as simple as just copying the app and the concept because it’s the whole concept that basically is always bumping heads with the laws. Otherwise , why have the Taxi companies try taken four years to protest without action instead of bettering their business models?

It always comes down to whether or not as a person or as a business when handling completion if your going to complain or your going to better your service or your company. I’m not saying it’s fine to break laws and I’m not saying I fully comprehend every law pertaining to Ubers operation here as a obviously don’t but Ive yet to notice how local Taxi companies have used any of Ubers so called negative rep in Taiwan to their advantage by giving consumers a reason to choose them over Ubers service.

I actually just took Uber last night home and the Driver had just gotten laid off from his job and his Dad is in hospital from a recent car accident so he decided to drive Uber part time to get some extra cash and had really good things to say about Uber in Taiwan. It would be interesting to see how others feel about each of their services besides the Taxi companies, or Uber employees. But I still have no reservations about choosing Uber. I’ve met tons of great people through their service honestly. And since they’re are no legal obligations on passengers at the moment I wouldn’t say there is any reason to stop .


#57

Have you read through terms of service for driving Uber in Taiwan and their employment details before? I’m guessing Uber wouldn’t be accountable in those situations probably but if those drivers are aware of those policies prior to starting driving for the company what is the issue here? If the drivers have no reservations about the company policy and whatever if any protections they have in place why should a passenger as long as they know as well what the terms of use are?


#58

I won’t read any of that wall of text.

Paragraphs!


#59

[quote=“wangkesen, post:57, topic:154722, full:true”]
Have you read through terms of service for driving Uber in Taiwan and their employment details before?[/quote]
No I haven’t. Is there a convenient place to find a copy? Again, I’ll be surprised if they actually call it employment.

I’m guessing Uber wouldn’t be accountable in those situations probably but if those drivers are aware of those policies prior to starting driving for the company what is the issue here? If the drivers have no reservations about the company policy and whatever if any protections they have in place why should a passenger as long as they know as well what the terms of use are?

“If both parties agree on something, it’s a valid contract.” Right? No, not according to the laws of Taiwan.

A contract needs to be fair in order to be valid. If the contract says it’s not employment, but the contractor is treated like an employee, then by law it’s employment. If the contract says employment, but it’s not, then it’s not.

Sham contracting is a serious problem in multiple countries. Companies want the benefits of employment (mostly the ability to control people) without the responsibilities (paid sick leave, pension contributions, etc.). I’m not saying Uber is or isn’t a sham contractor, but it’s already been accused of it more than once and lost at least one case. So I’m skeptical, of course.


#60

Fixed. Just getting used to the interface.