SEOUL, June 1 (Korea Bizwire) — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld lower courts’ rulings in favor of the ride-hailing service Tada and its former chief executives, putting an end to a long controversy over the legitimacy of the innovative rental car service.
The top court approved the lower courts’ acquittal of Lee Jae-woong, former head of car-sharing app operator SoCar, and Park Jae-uk, former head of SoCar’s subsidiary and Tada operator Value Creators & Company (VCNC), on charges of violating the passenger transport service act with their new service.
SoCar and VCNC were also acquitted of the same charges.
Tada, formally called Tada Basic, was launched in October 2018 offering a ride-hailing service through 11-seat vans and drivers.
But local taxi drivers condemned Tada as an illegal taxi service operating without a license and the National Assembly then revised the Passenger Transport Service Act to restrict the outsourcing of drivers of rental vans with 11 to 15 seats to touring purposes only.
Despite Thursday’s acquittals, Tada cannot offer the same services as before because of the law revision.
Lee and Park were indicted in October 2019 for violating the passenger transport law by running the van-hailing service without a license, though they claimed the Tada service was legitimate.
The Tada case drew strong media attention due to the possible innovation of the mobility platform industry.
Following the legal revision, VCNC ceased to operate the Tada Basic service and has instead been offering high-end and reservation-based riding services within the legal boundary.