The Taiwanese government has sent officials to raid Uber Taiwan’s office, a month after the ride-hailing giant announced it has ceased operations in the country.
According to a Taiwan News report, the National Taxation Bureau of Taipei claims that Uber has not paid over NT$51.24 million (US$1.66 million) in business taxes, which dates back to 2015.
Uber’s non-compliance prompted the government to dispatch officials from the Administrative Enforcement Agency of the Ministry of Justice to seize Uber’s assets in the country.
On Wednesday, the officials went down to Uber Taiwan’s headquarters in Taipei to seal their office equipment. The company’s savings, totalling about NT$11.84 million (US$383,000), in Deutsche Bank were also frozen.
The agency said it will summon Uber Taiwan’s management to come clean over its financial matters and lay out a plan to pay the taxes owed.
e27 has reached out to Uber for a comment.
Uber and Taiwan have been at loggerheads for at least half a year. In December, the Taiwanese government voted to raise fines against unlicensed services: a driver who is punished could face a maximum fine of US$790,000.
According to a Straits Times report, Uber Taiwan has raked up NTS$1.1 billion (US$36 million) in fines within a month the legislation took effect.
Uber’s operations in other regions in Greater China have also faced regulatory hurdles, in addition to opposition from taxi companies, and fierce competition from similar services.
In Hong Kong, five Uber drivers were found guilty of operating without a license and were fined HK$10,000 (US$1,288). They also had their driving licenses suspended for a year. Despite this, Uber said it would continue to operate in Hong Kong.
Uber bowed out of the mainland China market through an acquisition by Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi. The merged companies co-developed a new version of the Uber app, built specifically for the Chinese market.
It includes integrations with popular Chinese apps including WeChat and QQ. However, foreign credit cards are not accepted, and its interface is only in Chinese.
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