Imagine getting free rides in a cab and winning cash awards and prizes to boot. That’s exactly what Tu Ching Liang offers his passengers if they can sing karaoke for him during the trip.
“No one is as lucky as me, walking out the door every day rushing to go to work and not make any money,” Liang tells The Guardian. All the performances in Liang’s small, yellow cab are uploaded on his YouTube channel, where he has over 20,000 subscribers.
In a city that loves to sing, Liang often finds commuters willing to perform. According to the news website, the local taxi app also has a “karaoke” option alongside features such as “English-speaking driver” or “wheelchair accessible”.
“I’ve been driving a taxi for 27 years, giving money (as rewards for singing karaoke) for eight years, and filming videos for six years. I’ve filmed 10,000 videos,” says Liang. Moreover, he claims to have featured in TV shows in 10 different countries.
To get a discount or a free ride, one has to sing a karaoke as Liang drives them to their destination. When Liang finds people who are too embarrassed to sing, he encourages them. “It’s to train their courage. To train them to become a superstar,” he tells the news website.
“Taiwanese love singing. So it’s normal there are many (taxis with karaoke). But it’s hard to both film and sing, like what I do. And police can fine me for the speakers outside. That’s also difficult,” he says.
With over a million views in some of the videos posted on his YouTube channel, Liang calls himself an “International influencer.”