SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — A group of taxi drivers who are affiliated with Kakao Mobility Corp., the country’s top taxi-hailing company, are facing sanctions from from the firm after asking passengers not to the service.
According to industry sources, Kakao Mobility issued warnings to a total of 33 affiliated taxi drivers who were found to have recommended that passengers use other platforms or stop using its taxi-hailing service Kakao T during the period from May to July.
After issuing the first warnings, the company plans to suspend them from the Kakao T service temporarily if similar cases are reported again.
“The practice of recommending passengers to use other taxi apps or stopping them from using Kakao T taxis can result in unpleasant experiences for Kakao T taxi users,” Kakao Mobility said.
Behind Kakao Mobility’s crackdown looms a conflict between the company and taxi drivers and the emergence of rivals.
Kakao Mobility, which commands some 80 percent share of the taxi hailing service market, is mired in a ‘gapjil’ dispute arising from its monopolistic presence.
Gapjil is a Korean term that refers to the abuse of power by people or firms against affected parties in a weaker position. Kakao Mobility is facing a backlash from both corporate and private taxi drivers.
In addition, the inauguration of UT, a taxi-hailing joint venture between SK Telecom Co.’s mobility spinoff and Uber Technologies Inc. in April, created a situation where Kakao Mobility has to actively maintain its fleet of affiliated taxis, the core competitive edge of its Kakao T service.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)