Tada’s leaders charged with an illegal business

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Tada’s leaders charged with an illegal business

Prosecutors concluded that van-hailing service Tada violates domestic transportation law Monday - a decision that will pull Tada’s operator, VCNC, and its two leaders into court.

VCNC’s CEO Park Jae-wook and Lee Jae-woong, CEO of VCNC parent company Socar, were indicted for operating a paid transportation service without a license.

The two men were indicted without detention.

The two companies will be pulled into the case too.

“Tada will be well prepared for the trial,” Socar said in a statement.

The case goes back to last February, when nine current and former directors of the Seoul Private Taxi Association made criminal complaints against Socar’s Lee and VCNC’s Park with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. They claimed Tada was violating a domestic law that only allows licensed operators to offer paid transportation services and another that bans rented vehicles from doing so.

From very early on, Tada has rebutted such claims citing another clause in the transportation law that specifically allows rented vans with 11 to 15 seats to be offered with drivers.

Launched in October 2018, Tada wasn’t the first ride-hailing service that met strong opposition from the local taxi industry. Kakao, one of Korea’s largest IT companies, also attempted to launch a carpool service last year but succumbed to the taxi industry’s opposition and discontinued its app. Recently, Kakao shifted its direction to acquire licensed taxi companies instead of competing against them.

Despite being a small start-up, Tada has been staunch about its legality and was successful. Tada grew in popularity among the public for its clean rides and quiet drivers. The number of users increased to an average of more than 10,000 per month, and the number of vans being operated reached 1,400.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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