Travis Kalanick, CEO of the mobile app-driven taxi Uber, is facing possible jail time from the South Korean government. According to South Korean, Kalanick is guilty of "violating transportation laws which forbid rental car businesses from offering passenger transportation services using their vehicles".
While the final sentencing hasn't come down yet, South Korea's Yonhap News reports that Kalanick is facing either fines or up to two years in jail. Uber has been under fire even prior to its launch in South Korea, and the service was deemed illegal. Uber drivers are in danger while they operate within the country after Korean government officials began offering rewards for citizens reporting active Uber drivers.
Head Of Asia Operations for Uber, Allen Penn, called out South Korea's handling of the situation, saying:
“We would like to call upon all parties to stop the unnecessary confrontation and approach this issue in a mature manner with a view to providing the kind of service that the citizens of Seoul deserve”
A short time later, Uber released an official response to the issue:
“Uber Technologies respects the Korean legal system and will provide its full cooperation. We firmly believe that our service, which connects drivers and riders via an application, is not only legal in Korea, but that it is being welcomed and supported by consumers. At the same time, Uber does not believe it is appropriate for authorities to seek to punish drivers who are trying to make a living through this service. We are confident that the Korean court will uphold a fair and sensible judgment on this case.”
Whether South Korea will see reason or not is to be determined, but to see so much controversy generated over a service that operates on major mobile platforms seems quite ridiculous, especially when those operating under the employment of Uber could face punishment as well.
Source: Tech Crunch