Li Min, vice president of marketing at Didi Chuxing, wrote on his Weibo page today to address rumors of layoffs. “This is the third time in less than a year that the rumor has gone round saying that we have cut jobs,” wrote Li, “Once again, I clarify this is nonsense.”
Chinese tech blog 36Kr reported on Thursday that Didi Chuxing is rumored to lay off more than one thousand employees, the largest ever since it was founded in 2012.
Didi Chuxing has a workforce of 6,800, wrote Li on his Weibo. This figure contradicts that of 8,000 as reported by 36Kr.
Other Chinese startups did lay off employees in financially difficult times, hoping to survive with less burden. Beijing-based drone maker ZEROTECH, once deemed as DJI’s potent competitor, cut about one-fourth of its workforce in December 2016.
Didi Chuxing has made its global expansion beyond China since the acquisition of its rival Uber China in August last year. Didi made a strategic investment in Brazil’s largest ride sharing app 99 on Thursday. Thereafter, Didi will assume a seat on 99’s Board of Directors.
Didi’s strategy in China now also involves completing its vision of building a “one-stop transportation platform”. The company pumped in tens of millions of dollars in September 2016 in ofo, China’s bike sharing app, which complements the short-distance travel market where ride-hailing apps are not present in certain areas.
(Top photo from Didi Chuxing)