Food and grocery delivery service Honestbee Taiwan said that it has suspended its operations in the nation.
The Singapore-based company said it is trying to resolve payment issues and asked its employees not to report for duty.
“We regret to announce that our management team in Taiwan has received instructions from the Singapore headquarters office that we are to immediately suspend all our business operations in Taiwan,” the company said in a statement.
The company said it is awaiting further instructions from the headquarters “to ensure that the operating problems can be mitigated and solutions found, then we will resume our business operations in Taiwan.”
The company launched in Taiwan in January 2016.
The suspension came only days after representatives of a “victims self-help association” held a protest outside Taipei City Hall to demand payment from the firm and asked the government to help get their money back.
Association spokespeople said that Honestbee Taiwan owed about NT$7.79 million (US$250,708) to mostly small businesses and shop owners across the nation.
A total of 286 food suppliers and restaurateurs were ready to file a class-action lawsuit against the company, they said.
Honestbee Taiwan’s official Web site and social media pages were still online as of press time, and people who said they were owed money by the company posted messages on them.
“We had 10 restaurant owners who had received back payments, so Honestbee Taiwan has not declared bankruptcy and is still operating. We will follow up to monitor the development of payments for our members,” association head Chen Chien-hao (陳建豪) said.
Honestbee Taiwan’s Taipei office had been empty over the past few days and it was closed after the suspension was announced, Chen said.
He said that Honestbee employees were instructed to work from home for their own safety, as there had allegedly been altercations with shop owners and creditors demanding payment, he said, citing unknown sources.
Company officials have promised to deal with the payments and other problems, saying they were waiting for funds to be transferred from Singapore, he added.
(Source: Taipei Times)