Prosecutors argued that Tada, operated by VCNC under car-sharing firm SoCar, is nothing but a call taxi service, although its operator argues it is an innovative mobility business.
“Tada users are, in nature, passengers, not renters, under the transportation law, given that they do not effectively engage in the operation of the vans,” the prosecution said during a hearing at the Seoul Central District Court.
The prosecution also cited the ministry’s earlier judgment that app-based ride-sharing service providers, like Uber, belong to an illegal taxi service.
“[Car-riding services, like Tada,] should be nurtured within the boundary of the current law, even if it is a new industry.”
Tada argues its business is within legal boundaries, citing the law’s exception clause, while taxi drivers argue Tada’s business practice is an arbitrary application of the rule, irrelevant to its original purpose of promoting tourism.
“[Tada] has been doing a rent-a-car business, just like existing rent-a-car operators, which provide customers with rented cars and arrange drivers. Tada is, in essence, nothing different from them, with only mobile platform technology newly combined,” a lawyer for Tada said.
“It’s unreasonable if [Tada] receives discriminative treatment, by any chance, because the number of its users is large,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer also cited the Transport Ministry’s deregulation policy for the promotion of the country’s car-sharing service, reminding that the exceptional clause on vehicles with 11 seats or more had been newly introduced to that effect.
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