Jean Liu promotes Didi’s international image

In 2019, after a Didi driver was killed by a passenger in the central Hunan province, the president of China’s ride-hailing app asked Liu Fei to come to the scene to comfort his family.

Later, she admitted on China’s Weibo that she felt “weak and scared” while traveling, and wrote: “We beg everyone to give us another chance to make up, so that we can get out of the cocoon like a butterfly.”

The 43-year-old Didi’s role as a firefighter and global deal maker paid off this week, marking the biggest Wall Street debut for a Chinese company since Alibaba’s IPO in 2014.

The company’s dominant position in China’s online car-hailing field makes it particularly vulnerable to regulatory crackdowns. The authorities have issued regular warnings on everything from safety to potential antitrust investigations, including price manipulation and unfair compensation of drivers.On Friday, just two days after the IPO, it was attacked by cybersecurity regulators who expressed hope Investigate its data practice.

Although Didi’s founder, chairman and CEO Cheng Wei is low-key, Liu Xiaobo has long been Didi’s public ambassador. She is often the only woman in Didi’s global technology conference group, and she is very involved in the field of Chinese technology. And diversified speeches and sustainability.

She is at the core of Didi’s promotion of becoming a “truly global” company, a goal that coincides with Beijing’s desire to create an internationally competitive technology champion.

In a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum in November last year, Liu said that Didi intends to differentiate itself from other global ride-hailing peers by not adopting a “same-size” approach to entering new countries. “Many Western companies take a one-size-fits-all approach,” she said.

In China, she has 10 million followers on Weibo, often meets with drivers, and personally responds to complaints against the company. Her frank and personalized tone helped Didi survive the worst domestic scandal, a series of murder and safety scandals involving drivers and female passengers in 2018 and 2019.

After getting a degree in computer science from Peking University and Harvard University, Liu joined Goldman Sachs, where she worked in Hong Kong for more than a decade and quickly rose to lead regional business.

In 2014, she decided to resign as the head of Goldman Sachs Asia and join Didi because the company faces a costly war of attrition with rivals Kuaidi and Uber.

In an interview with Chinese media, Liu described how she first met Cheng and Didi as part of Goldman Sachs’ efforts to invest in the next generation of Chinese technology start-ups, but never reached a deal.

Instead, Cheng accepted an offer she jokingly made at dinner: If she can’t invest in Didi, then she might as well come to work for the company.

But in September 2015, Liu sent an email to the entire company stating that she had undergone breast cancer surgery and was in good health. For many employees, this is the first time they have heard of her illness.

A year later, she told Didi’s annual meeting at Didi’s annual meeting that it felt like “just found the runway to take off, and suddenly stopped with a thunder.” [me]”.

Liu Zeng said that part of the reason she chose to join Didi was because her father Liu Chuanzhi was the founder of Lenovo Group, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of notebook computers. Lenovo Group acquired IBM’s notebook computer division in 2005, thereby stimulating Has gained its global dominance.

She is not the only Liu Xiaobo of her generation who has left a mark on China’s science and technology field. At the height of the price war between Didi and Uber, Ms. Liu had to compete with her cousin Liu Zhen, a former Silicon Valley lawyer who was the head of Uber China’s strategy at the time.

The standoff ended with Didi’s acquisition of Uber’s China business in exchange for a 12.8% stake in Didi and a seat on the board of Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

It can be said that neither of the cousins ​​lost. After leaving Uber China, Liu Zhen joined ByteDance as the president of China, helping another gentle-speaking, low-key technology founder Zhang Yiming to build his company into China’s most valuable start-up company.

Jean Liu played a similar role for Didi. In her first year as the company’s chief operating officer, she helped Tencent, Softbank, Alibaba, and Apple secure 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in investment.

As part of the transaction, she Host Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Beijing. She argued that the two were a good fit because Didi’s holding company Xiaoju Kuaizhi literally translates to “little oranges.”

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