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Didi Co-Founder Liu Becomes ‘CPO’ at China Ride-Hailing Giant

Didi Global co-founder Jean Liu will become “Chief People Officer” at the group, while maintaining her current duties, an internal memo said on Sunday

Jean Liu, co-founder of Didi, is stepping down as group president (Reuters).


Didi Global co-founder Jean Liu is reshaping her role at China’s biggest ride-hailing firm.

After a decade as president and a board director, the former Goldman Sachs banker will serve as “Chief People Officer”, 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 position of president, the memo said.


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Liu’s new role will be as “permanent partner” at the group and will maintain her current duties, she and CEO Will Wei Cheng said in the internal letter sent to employees on Sunday.

“I hope that I can focus more on the company’s long-term development in the future,” Liu said in the letter, citing talent and corporate social responsibility as focus areas.

Liu is the daughter of Lenovo Group founder Liu Chuanzhi, who was heavily involved in the company’s key financial decisions, including its merger with Kuaidi, an Alibaba Group-backed firm, in 2015, as well as its takeover of Uber Technologies’ China business, and fundraising from investors such as Apple Inc.


Punished for proceeding with ‘unapproved’ US IPO

In 2021, Didi found itself in the spotlight of China’s cyberspace regulator over its pursuit of a US initial public offering in the US after proceeding without obtaining approval.

The move prompted an inquiry that prohibited it from adding new users and resulted in many of Didi’s apps being removed from major app stores.

The company was penalized with a $1.2 billion fine in July 2022 over data security violations. Didi began to recover from its regulatory challenges in early 2023 when it received permission to relaunch its apps.

The fine imposed by the Cyberspace Administration of China followed a year-long investigation into Didi’s collection and use of its customer data.

Chairman and CEO Will Wei Cheng and Jean Liu, who was president at the time, were each fined 1 million yuan.

The Cyberspace Administration of China started its inquiry shortly after the company listed in New York on June 30, 2021.

The regulator had urged the company to put the US initial public offering on hold pending a cybersecurity review of its data practices.

Didi Global was eventually forced to delist from the New York stock exchange.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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