The cold Beijing winter took a heavy toll on Didi as the Chinese ride-hailing giant announced today that it will lay off 15 percent, roughly 2,000 staff members, this year.
According to Chinese Technology media Netease, Didi CEO Cheng Wei said at a management meeting that the firm would focus on core mobility services and cut business units considered not critical to its main ride-hailing business in 2019. This confirms the rumors from last month regarding the company’s plans on cutting down on non-essential staff members.
However, Didi will aim to hire more than 2,000 employees throughout this year to focus on safety technology, product engineering and international expansion with the goal of maintaining its overall employee count of roughly 13,000 by the year end.
Since the murder of two Didi passengers, the company has been under heavy fire and facing constant backlash from the public. The company has kept a low profile for the entire second half of 2018, with internal restructuring moves like taking down the hitchhike service and cancelling their annual event.
Didi stated in August that instead of using scale and growth as measurements of success, the company will prioritize safety as the single most important performance indicator. The safety and customer service systems have since been revamped to ensure maximum passenger security.
Didi is considered one of the most valuable startups in the world and bought Uber’s China operations in 2016.
Netease reported that Didi Chuxing lost 10.9 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in 2018.
Featured Image Source: The Information.