Two of CKGSB’s top students – Liu Qing and Cheng Wei, President and CEO of China’s largest ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, respectively – are again in the news today following the news that Didi plans to merge with Uber China in a deal valued at $35 billion. While the details are still to be finalized, reports have said that investors in Uber China will receive a 20% stake in Didi.
Didi Chuxing CEO Cheng Wei is a student in CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA)
Didi Chuxing is one of the most successful startup companies that China has produced in recent years. Its unique philosophy of “collaborative reform from within”, rather than Uber’s “disrupt and replace” philosophy, has clearly worked very well in China, where government plays a decisive role in the viability of this business model. Recently, China took steps towards legalizing ride-hailing platforms, which had thus far been operating in limbo.
As President of Didi Chuxing, Liu Qing has been at the forefront of the company, as well as being among the most visible female executives in China today. Speaking at a CKGSB event in 2014, Liu said that “setting up women-only organizations within the company, holding breakfast seminars and establishing platforms for women to exchange ideas” is crucial in providing professional female networking and mentorship opportunities.
The reported merger between Didi Chuxing and Uber China increases the pressure on Zhou Hang (pictured speaking at a CKGSB event in Beijing on August 1, 2016), Founder and CEO of Yidao Yongche, another of China’s ride-hailing companies.
Liu Qing and Cheng Wei are both current students on CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA), a multi-year program aimed at some of China’s most senior executives. On joining the second intake of the program, Cheng spoke of his desire to study “the internal governance of companies, differentiated competition, counter-measures under the new policy environment and the operating model of an enterprise”, adding that CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) offers him a great platform where he can further his research and gain more knowledge about corporate development.
According to sources, Uber China will continue to operate its app in China. CKGSB Associate Professor of Strategy and Economics Brian Viard recently conducted a study which identified 24 Chinese cities with economies large enough to sustain two or more ride-hailing app companies. The possibility for these two rival apps to co-exist in China will no doubt be a huge bonus to riders.