China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing will cut 15% of its staff, about 2,000 people, the company’s CEO Cheng Wei said at an internal meeting, according to people familiar with the matter. The Information in January first reported Didi was mulling a big reduction to its workforce.
Mr. Cheng said Friday that the company will focus on safety and its core mobility services. Despite the reduction, people familiar with Didi’s plans said it would hire roughly 2,500 workers to focus on safety technology, product engineering and international expansion.
Didi’s operations have come under scrutiny since two passengers were murdered by Didi drivers in two separate incidents last year. Since then, Didi has been working to make sure its fleets comply with local regulations. Some investors and employees worry that strict compliance with driver and car licensing requirements could make Didi look a lot more like a highly regulated taxi operator. The regulatory pressure could make it harder for Didi to tap China’s pool of private-car drivers, raising questions about its valuation.