Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to lay off about 2,000 people, or 15 percent of its workforce, this year, a source familiar with the situation said Friday.
That confirmed earlier Chinese media reports that Didi CEO Cheng Wei said in an internal meeting Friday that the company is preparing for difficult times.
Didi declined to comment to CNBC.
Didi is ultimately planning to hire about 2,500 employees this year in areas such as safety, technology and offline management operations, according to the source familiar with the matter. That would bring the company’s 2019 year-end headcount to about 13,000, which would be on par with staffing at the end of 2018.
Didi is one of the most valuable start-ups in the world and bought Uber’s China operations in 2016.
On Wednesday, Chinese tech news site 36kr, citing leaked internal financial statements, said Didi lost 10.9 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) last year and spent 11.3 billion yuan on driver subsidies. That was a marked acceleration from the company’s 2017 loss of 2.5 billion yuan, according to the report.