Former Ganji CEO: Why I left after the merger with 58.com

Yang Haoyong
Photo from Baidu Images

Yang Haoyong, founder and former CEO of Chinese Craigslist-like website, Ganji.com, has openly talked about why he resigned from Ganji after the company merged with rival 58.com, the tech channel of Tencent reported on Monday.

“To stay at an established company is somewhat boring. To venture into a new business is more to my taste,” Yang tells Tencent.

Seven months after one of the country’s largest mergers and the combining of China’s two top classifieds sites, Yang announced last November that he would resign from this position as co-CEO of 58Ganji, to serve as Chairman and CEO of Guazi.com, a second-hand car trading platform once affiliated with Ganji.

Rumor has it that Yang and his team were kicked out from the merged 58 Ganji group. Yang, who retains a seat on the board of directors at 58 Ganji, objects to this explaining, “Yao Jinbo (founder of 58.com) and I agreed to separately take charge of several divisions and neither of us at the time had thought to leave.”

Yang claims that he decided to leave after getting bored with his former position as co-CEO at 58 Ganji.

“There was no war to fight after the merger. When you and your major rival are on the same side, suddenly there’s no longer any heavyweight to grind against.” Yang says he missed the days when every team member perked up at the cut-throat competition with a strong rival.

“58 Ganji does not need two CEOs,” says Yang, because not much new business is generated when two platforms doing a similar business merge.

An exit came for him when the investors at 58 Ganji were looking for an experienced team leader at Guazi.com to tackle the heated second-hand car market.

Yang thinks second-hand cars are a trillion yuan market. With much faith in the market, Yang claims with pride that Guazi.com is his second go at starting a new business.

“With 10 years of experience at Ganji, our team was adept at clearing missteps,” he says.

But he is also fully aware of the challenge of China’s current second-hand car market. He believes that the market is lacking in car-assessment professionals.

“In the future, we will hire technicians with experience working in 4S stores,” Yang says. “We will also set up our own training system and standard working procedures for new staff to catch up, in addition to recruiting as much talent as we can.”

Yang says that financing is also limited in the second-hand car market. Hundreds of deals can’t be finalized because numerous customers are unable to obtain loans from the bank. Believing that the nation is going to introduce favorable policies to advance second-hand car purchases, Yang says that his platform is determined to improve access to financial products for second-hand car trading.

(Top photo from Baidu Images.)

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