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Uber CEO could land jail time in Korean court dispute

Uber can’t seem to keep itself out of the headlines. The firm’s CEO is facing possible jail time after Korean prosecutors accused Uber of violating transportation laws.

The taxi booking company is still under pressure from authorities in Taiwan and Thailand yet the charges in Korea are more serious in nature. Both Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and the head of local competitor MK Korea are charged with disobeying laws that forbid rental car businesses offering passenger transportation.

South Korea’s courts are often strict on matters such as these and it has been reported that the sentence could be either a hefty fine of a jail sentence of up to two years.

Uber went ahead with its launch in October this year despite authorities in the country declaring it illegal before it even arrived. The government is even offering financial rewards to people who report drivers operating via Uber or other taxi services.

“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,” Allen Penn, Head of Asia Operations for Uber, said according to TechCrunch.

There is no sign of either side backing down. Uber has indeed built up a reputation for stubbornness in the face of controversy, which it seems to face weekly across the globe.

A further statement read: “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 judgement on this case.”