Taiwan to withdraw Uber's licence if laws flouted

Taipei: Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs has said its threat to withdraw the business licence of taxi-hailing service Uber would only take place if the firm continued to flout the country's regulations, the media reported on Wednesday. The ministry made the statement on Tuesday after previously pledging to take action against the transport company in response to numerous petitions and protests from different sections of the transport sector and public users in Taiwan, Efe news reported. The Investment Commission under the ministry said last week it would revoke Uber Taiwan's operating licence by mid-August as the company was working in a different business sector to the one it had applied for. The firm, which has operated in Taiwan for three years, is registered as an "information service" provider, but has been operating a transportation service -- a business that is not open to foreign companies, the commission explained. The ministry's latest announcement drew angry protests from taxi drivers and labour unions, who criticised the government for backing down from its previous statement and argued that it had failed to protect existing businesses from Uber Taiwan's influence. The firm, whose parent company Uber is registered in the Netherlands, has also been accused of avoiding local taxes while earning huge revenues as Taiwan currently does not have any laws giving it authority over cross-border corporate taxes. Uber Taiwan General Manager Gu Li-kai rejected the accusations and said the company was working with the government to legalise the business.  IANS