Liu Qing was promoted, and Cheng Wei shifted gears

author:Tang Chen Tonggaku

This may be a high-profile "breakup".

On the afternoon of the day before the "520" Internet Valentine's Day, Didi Chengwei and Liu Qing issued a joint internal letter to all employees. The letter mentioned that Cheng Wei decided to promote Liu Qing to be a permanent partner of the company, Liu Qing will no longer be a director and president of the company, and the company will no longer have the position of president in the future.

Liu Qing was promoted, and Cheng Wei shifted gears

Liu Qing's title has been changed

According to the latest arrangement, Liu Qing's departments and responsibilities remain unchanged, and he will continue to serve as Didi's chief talent officer and continue to report to Chairman and CEO Cheng Wei. Cheng Wei also said in the letter that as the co-founder of the company, Liu Qing is his closest comrade-in-arms and partner, and so will he will be in the future.

This personnel change means that Liu Qing will withdraw from the company's daily business management and return to the second line to focus on talent, organization building and social responsibility after joining Didi for ten years. In other words, Didi's "Cheng Liupei era" is over, and Cheng Wei will "shoulder the burden". The permanent partner is just an honorary title, which is quite Alibaba, which is also based on Liu Qing's high recognition of Didi's contributions.

Number two?

According to public information, Liu Qing joined Didi in July 2014 as chief operating officer, and in February 2015, she served as the president of Didi until this adjustment. It can be said that Liu Qing is the core figure of Didi to the present, second only to Cheng Wei, and his name is the same as Cheng Wei, tied to Didi, and is a proper second position.

Wang Gang is Didi's earliest investor, having worked at Alibaba for more than 10 years, known as "Lao Dan", and has worked with Cheng Wei for many years. According to him, the idea of making a taxi software was decided by him and Cheng Wei together. Didi is also the first project he incubated and invested in after leaving Alibaba.

Wang Gang said in an interview that Cheng Wei dared to dig Liu Qing, beyond expectations, too daring to think. They have been in close contact for more than ten days, as if they were in love, and it is not an exaggeration to say that they communicate for more than 16 hours a day. The two of them are a perfect match in business: they share the same values and complement each other's capabilities. Just like Jack Ma and Tsai Chongxin, Ma Huateng and Martin Lau. Both of them are extremely smart, upright, and desperate in their work.

Cheng Wei was born from the grassroots and grew step by step from the bottom of sales, his sensitivity to the market and the ability to execute in the front line are what Liu Qing needs; Liu Qing was born in a famous family and has the demeanor of everyone, and her network resources, international vision, and ability to call the wind and rain in the capital market are what Cheng Wei needs, so their combination quickly saw a chemical reaction and superposition effect.

After Liu Qing joined, he sat in the passenger seat of Didi's car, and led the driving direction of the travel company together with Cheng Wei. Their division of labor, according to Cheng Wei, is "cross-transposition": Liu Qing manages capital, "diplomacy", and functional departments including human resources and finance, while Cheng Wei manages more business.

Liu Qing did quickly bring direct changes to Didi in terms of strategy, financing and internationalization. For example, she has led a series of major financing projects in Didi's development history, including the merger of Didi and Kuaidi and the acquisition of Uber China.

On June 30, 2021, Didi Chuxing was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the United States. According to public information, after the IPO, Cheng Wei, Liu Qing and Zhu Jingshi held a total of 9.8% of the shares, of which Cheng maintained 6.5% of the shares and had 35.5% of the voting rights; Liu Qing holds 1.6% of the shares and has 22.8% of the voting rights; Zhu Jingshi has 1.2% of the voting rights.

Liu Qing was promoted, and Cheng Wei shifted gears

As Cheng Wei's former colleague, entrepreneurial partner and investor, Wang Gang still has a layer of meaning that has not been expressed, that is, the combination of Liu Qing and Cheng Wei, for a long time, Liu Qing's role is heavier than Cheng Wei's. In other words, Liu Qing's importance to Didi and Didi's investors is higher than Cheng Wei.

Looking back on its development process, it can be found that Didi has almost all the way to financing and burning money. Uber and Express were taken down, and Didi's dominant market pattern today is largely due to Liu Qing's capital operation ability and "ability to find money".

Cheng Wei said in early 2019 that from 2012 to 2018, Didi had a cumulative loss of 39 billion yuan in 6 years. Other data shows that by the end of 2019, Didi had accumulated losses of more than 50 billion yuan. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Liu Qing helped Didi complete three major financings, amounting to $700 million, $2 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively.

At the financial level, Liu Qing can be regarded as Didi's blood vessel, constantly looking for money from the outside to maintain Didi's continuous running. A well-known reporter once commented on Liu Qing's treatment of Didi: "I have always secretly felt that Liu Qing is Didi's 'Song Meiling'. She comes from a famous family and is not lacking in sophistication, bringing brands, international resources and a certain kind of concentration similar to falling into the water for Didi, who is already in a winning position but is like a "coyote". Didi is never the same again. ”

It is worth mentioning that Song had brought in a large amount of international aid during the war. And the famous family here refers to Liu Qing's other identity: Liu Chuanzhi's daughter.

This situation has also led to the distribution of roles between Cheng Wei and Liu Qing, in addition to the official release of Liu Qing as "Didi's management spokesperson" and "Cheng Wei's best partner", there is a view that Didi once tried to maintain a deliberate balance, and the frequency of their public appearances and the division of business between the two have subtle considerations. This was naturally denied by Cheng Wei, he said, "We have a tacit understanding, we don't need to deliberately argue, and we don't deliberately defend it." ”

According to the latest financial report data, Didi will achieve a total revenue of 192.4 billion yuan and a net profit of 500 million yuan in 2023. This is the first time Didi has achieved an annual profit. This also shows that Didi has the ability to "self-hematopoiesis", and the situation of relying only on external blood supply has been changed, and it is time for Didi to change gears: the previous savage growth will also switch to steady operation. In this context, Liu Qing's role was switched and he returned to the No. 2 position in the real sense, and the "permanent partner" was the highest praise.

Cheng Wei shifts

In fact, in the past nearly 12 years, Didi's development has been repeatedly pulling on "telling new stories" and "forging core competencies", and more energy has been spent on "telling new stories".

In an exclusive interview with Caijing in 2017, Cheng Wei said, "Didi is strategy-driven, not opportunity-driven. In his design, Didi's strategy has three vertical routes: "First, internationalization, to build the world's largest one-stop travel platform; The second is to promote the sharing of new energy vehicles and supporting service systems, and Didi will serve as a car operator for the entire city. The third is intelligent transportation and unmanned driving. ”‍

He also admitted that Didi does not have a single-dimensional core ability, and the real core ability is evolutionary power. This sentence sounds very empty, but if you can go along the established main business line, you can also reap "enjoyable" results while splitting

But in the years when borderless games were prevalent, it was difficult for Cheng Wei to hold this vertical development route. He said, "If you can't do it vertically, you can only do it horizontally, which is Chinese characteristics." Didi also began to follow Meituan's Wang Xing and Byte's Zhang Yiming, and continued to expand, doing new businesses far from its main business, such as community group buying, layout car manufacturing, moving, express delivery and car rental, and penetrating into the hinterland of Meituan, Pinduoduo and Hema.

Especially in the community group buying operation, Didi not only spent tens of billions of yuan as subsidies, but also sent many generals within Didi to participate in it. Cheng Wei even asked Orange Heart to make every effort to win the first place in the market at the internal meeting, and Didi's investment in the project "has no upper limit".

"If you can't win Meituan in group buying, it's the same as Meituan can't beat Didi," in the view of investor David, the value of Didi's community group buying is nothing more than providing horizontal imagination for capital, "making new business points and telling new stories shows that Didi can extend to other aspects, not just a travel platform." ”

Liu Qing was promoted, and Cheng Wei shifted gears

As it turned out, Cheng Wei's horizontal experiment did tell a beautiful story, and the capital market paid for it, and Didi's valuation once rose by $40 billion in a year. The community group buying project, Orange Heart's preferred, has made the outside world realize that Didi is not only a travel company, but also a platform-based Internet company with diversified businesses. From another point of view, as the best partner, this is also what Liu Qing needs to explain to the capital market and investors.

But the story of "horizontal expansion of the circle" told under "Cheng Liupei" also hides a fatal crisis. The most serious is in 2018, when there were two incidents of Didi drivers raping and killing female passengers, and in 2021, Didi "secretly handed over" to the United States to go public in blood.

The former has exposed Didi's security risks in the process of "savage growth", and the strengthening of supervision and the change of public opinion have dealt a big blow to Didi's valuation. The latter quietly listed in disregard of compliance risks, which directly led to Didi's delisting in less than half a year after its listing on the U.S. stock market, and said that it would not apply for listing before the rectification was completed, and its market value fell even worse. Since then, Didi has undergone a 563-day cyber security review, and Didi was finally fined 8.026 billion yuan, and Didi's chairman and CEO Cheng Wei and president Liu Qing were each fined 1 million yuan, and the registration of new users of "Didi Chuxing" was resumed on January 16, 2023.

And this one-and-a-half-year "cooling-off period" is not entirely bad for Didi. On the one hand, internally, Didi began to return to the route of "steady operation", focusing on its main business, and began to divest its previous deviated business. For example, in August 2023, Xpeng Motors and Didi announced a strategic cooperation, under which Xpeng Motors will issue Class A ordinary shares accounting for 3.25% of the total share capital after the completion of the transaction to acquire assets and R&D capabilities related to Didi's smart electric vehicle projects.

On the other hand, the market structure has not changed fundamentally, and although Didi's market share has decreased, its position in the online car-hailing market is still overwhelming. According to LatePost, in 2023, the total market share of Didi and Huaxiaozhu in the online car-hailing market will rebound from about 65% to about 75%. At the same time, the capital market is still optimistic about this track, and during Didi's "cooling-off period", players such as Cao Cao Travel, T3 Travel, and AutoNavi have successively increased investment and received huge investments.

Cheng Wei also knows very well in his heart, "The vast majority of successful companies in the world are the ultimate in one field." "At present, Didi's revenue is composed of three parts, China's mobility business (China's ride-hailing, taxi, chauffeuring and ride-hailing businesses, etc.), international business (international travel and food delivery businesses, etc.), and other businesses (bike-sharing and motorcycle-sharing businesses, car services, freight transportation, autonomous driving and financial services).

This business map is very close to his previous plan. The profit in the 2023 financial report also gave him the confidence to change gears. At the earnings conference, Cheng Wei said, "Entering 2024, we will continue to focus on our main business, promote the healthy development of domestic and international businesses, promote innovation in technology, products and services, and better serve passengers, drivers and ecological partners." ”

Now, with Liu Qing's "promotion", Cheng Wei may gain unprecedented control, and will also shift gears more firmly and return to Didi's vertical strategy.


Finance Magazine, "Dialogue with Cheng Wei: Most People Only Know About War, But Don't Really Understand Competition"

The investment community, "Didi's earliest investor: invested 700,000 yuan 4 years ago, and now the return is far more than 3.5 billion"

Alphabet list, "Cheng Wei can be a return Cheng Wei"

I'm Tang Chen, and I'm interested in Internet technology and business stories. Original content, without permission, please do not reprint.

"Tang Chen Dougaku"

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