Didi co-founder Jean Liu leaves office after ten years at the helm of the Chinese ride-sharing company

Didi co-founder Jean Liu leaves office after ten years at the helm of the Chinese ride-sharing company
Didi co-founder Jean Liu leaves office after ten years at the helm of the Chinese ride-sharing company

Jean Liu, co-founder of Didi Global Inc., has stepped down as chairman and board director of China’s largest ride-hailing company to take on a new role, according to an internal company memo.

Didi, which is seen as China’s answer to Uber but has faced prolonged regulatory scrutiny, will no longer have a chairmanship, the memo seen by Reuters said.

Liu, a former Goldman Sachs banker who was at the helm of Didi for a decade, will take on a new role as a “permanent partner” and retain her current roles, including head of human resources, Liu and CEO Will Cheng in the internal letter sent to employees on Sunday.

“I hope to be able to focus more on the long-term development of the company in the future,” Ms. Liu said in the letter, citing talent and corporate social responsibility as priority focus areas.

Liu, the daughter of Lenovo Group founder Liu Chuanzhi, has been heavily involved in the company’s key financial decisions, including its merger with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd-backed Kuaidi in 2015, its purchase of Uber Technologies Inc in China, and raising funds from investors including Apple Inc. In 2021, Didi found itself under the spotlight of China’s cyberspace regulator for seeking to launch an offering initial public release in the United States without obtaining permission, leading to an investigation that barred it from adding new users and resulted in many of Didi’s apps being removed from major app stores.

In July 2022, the company was hit with a $1.2 billion fine for data security violations. Didi began to recover from its regulatory woes in early 2023, when it received approval to relaunch its apps. (Reporting by Liam Mo, Sarah Wu and Qiaoyi Li; Writing by Susan Fenton)

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