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Taxi driver burns himself to death in apparent protest of ride-sharing services

Yonhap News logo Yonhap News 15/5/2019

SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- A taxi driver burned himself to death Wednesday in an apparent protest of the introduction of carpooling services by the country's taxi-hailing app operators.

The 76-year-old man, identified only by his surname, Ahn, set fire on himself at around 3:19 a.m. near Seoul Plaza in central Seoul, according to police.

He was immediately taken to a hospital where he died.

Ahn is believed to have burned himself in protest of the adoption of carpooling services, given that he reportedly put signs expressing opposition to shared mobility on his taxi.

Two taxi drivers burned themselves to death in December 2018 and January in protest against the services. Another driver set fire on himself in February but survived.

Taxi associations have been strongly opposed to the introduction of carpooling services by the taxi-hailing app operators, such as Kakao Mobility, claiming it will put their business in jeopardy.

Taxi drivers claim carpooling services will eventually take away their passengers and that the services could be used around the clock, as flexible working hours have blurred the traditional notion of commuting hours.

This file photo, taken on Jan. 10, 2019, shows activists holding a rally in Yeouido, western Seoul, against the introduction of carpooling services by the country's taxi-hailing app operators. (Yonhap) © 제공: Yonhap News Agency (Korea) This file photo, taken on Jan. 10, 2019, shows activists holding a rally in Yeouido, western Seoul, against the introduction of carpooling services by the country's taxi-hailing app operators. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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