As we move deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 'shared services' are exploding in popularity around the world.
In particular, car-sharing services have experienced rapid growth in recent years, with the market set to be worth 12 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, according to a report by Global Market Insights.
But while U.S. car-sharing companies Zipcar and Uber continue to flourish, South Korea's rental van-hailing service Tada has been taking fire from local taxi drivers who say the service Tada provides is illegal under South Korean law.
And on Monday, SoCar's chief executive Lee Jae-woong and the chief executive of SoCar's rental car hailing service unit, Value Creators and Company, Park Jae-uk were indicted on charges of illegally operating their business without the correct license.
"According to Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Passenger Transportation Service Act, anyone with a passenger transport business has to obtain a license from the transport minister. Article 34, Paragraph 3 also bans car rental business entities from using their commercial vehicles for paid passenger transport. These were the grounds for Monday's indictments."
Experts added that the court is expected to focus on whether Tada should be considered a type of rental car service, which is within legal boundaries in South Korea, or an illegal taxi service operating without a license.
In a statement, Tada said the world is changing in response to consumer demand and technological advances.
It also maintained it has not broken any laws, based on a law that states rented vans with 11 to 15 seats can be offered with drivers.
Despite the indictments, Tada says it will continue to operate its full fleet of around 1,400 vehicles until further notice.
The court's verdict is not expected for some time, and it could take as long as three to four years if the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.