​Former Uber head Kalanick slapped with $18,000 fine in S. Korea

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 22, 2018, 17:20 Updated : June 22, 2018, 17:20

[Travis Kalanick Twitter]

SEOUL -- Travis Kalanick, the former head of Uber, an American taxi-hailing service operator, appeared in a South Korean court about three and a half years after he was indicted for operating illegal services to be slapped with a fine of 20 million won ($18,073).

Kalanick left the court, shrugging off a barrage of questions by reporters. His next destination was not known. He resigned as CEO last year over allegations that he ignored inside reports of sexual harassment but he still remains as a major shareholder and board member.

Uber introduced its taxi-hailing service in Seoul in 2013, triggering strong protests from city officials and taxi drivers. Kalanick and his South Korean unit were charged with violating a law on passenger transport services because their local partner and rental-car service operator, MK Korea, was not allowed to offer tax services.

Uber's local unit was fined 10 million won last year. However, Kalanick has boycotted court hearings.

On Friday, a court in Seoul sentenced Kalanick to a fine of 20 million won, hours after he arrived in South Korea. The 42-year-old wearing a blue jacket and white shirt with no tie acknowledged his wrongdoing. 

After "Uber X", a car-sharing service, came to a halt in South Korea, Uber came back with "Uber Black", a premium car-hailing service, and other services. It also launched "UberEats", a food delivery service, and "uberSHARE", a new variant service of its car-hailing service.

UberEats offers delivery service for restaurants in the busy areas of Seoul, but the service is being shunned by picky South Koreans as it failed to provide better services than local rivals.

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