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Cheng Wei (simplified Chinese: 程维; traditional Chinese: 程維, born 19 May 1983) is a Chinese business executive. His English nickname is Will.[1] Will is the Founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing ("DiDi", formerly known as Didi Kuaidi), China's largest comprehensive one-stop mobile transportation platform.[2] In 2012, after 8 years at Alibaba Group's regional and Alipay's operations, at age 29 Will founded Beijing Orange Technology Co Ltd. in Zhongguancun, known as China’s Silicon Valley, and soon launched Didi Dache, a taxi-hailing app.[3] In February 2015, the company merged with Kuaidi Dache, another key market player to become Didi Kuaidi (later renamed Didi Chuxing).[4] In August 2016, Didi Chuxing acquired the Chinese division of Uber.[5]

DiDi founder and CEO Cheng Wei

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Will was born in 1983 in Shangrao, a city located in the southeastern province of Jiangxi.[6] He received a bachelor's degree in administration from Beijing University of Chemical Technology.[7]

Early careerEdit

After graduation, Will served as an assistant to a chairman at a foot massage company.[8] He soon found that the job was not quite what he had expected, and, about one year later, applied to join Alibaba as a sales person for its business-to-business e-commerce service in 2005.[9]

In his six years at Alibaba, Will rose to being a sales manager for the northern region of China. Then, he moved to China's largest third-party online payment platform, Alipay, where he quickly gained a reputation as a talented manager despite his age and rose through the ranks to become the company's youngest regional manager.[10][11]

Didi ChuxingEdit

In 2012, Will left Alibaba and founded Beijing Orange Technology Co and launched Didi Dache - meaning "Beep Beep Call a Taxi" - the initial incarnation of his ride-hailing service.[12] In 2014, he hired Jean Liu(Liu Qing), a former Goldman Sachs Asia managing director as the COO of his company.[13] In February 2015, the company merged with its rival Kuaidi Dache to become Didi Kuaidi (later renamed Didi Chuxing).[14] In August 2016, Didi Chuxing acquired all assets of the Chinese division of Uber, including its brand, business operations and data for operation within mainland China. Under the terms of the deal, Will is set to become a board member of Uber and Uber's CEO also gets a seat on DiDi's board.[15]

Since the company was founded in 2012, under the leadership of Cheng Wei and Jean Liu, DiDi has grown to become one of the world’s highest valued tech start-ups.[16] The company has evolved from a simple taxi-hailing app to become China’s largest one-stop mobile transportation service platform, offering comprehensive mobility solutions for close to 440 million users across over 400 cities, including taxi hailing, private car hailing, hitch (social ride-sharing), bus, minibus, chauffeur service, car rental service, enterprise solutions and bike-sharing service.[17]

DiDi has spent three years linking up urban mobility options on its mobile platform. In the next three years, it will use big data and artificial intelligence to maximize the efficiency of all the transportation tools, according to Will.[18]

Will is among those advocating that China needs to focus intensely on AI.[19] Speaking to government officials and administrators in May, he said the first half of the internet age—in which companies raced to connect computing machines with people—has finished. "The second half is about artificial intelligence," he said. DiDi has established a big data research center to focus on AI technologies including machine learning and computer vision, which will optimize its dispatch system and route planning. A few hundred scientists work on the deep-learning technologies.[20] At this stage, Will said that the company is investing a lot of resources in research and is keen to recruit and retain top talent to build its self-driving cars[21] and to make itself become one of the top technology companies in the world.[22][23]

DiDi leverages its AI capabilities to help cities develop smart transportation solutions. DiDi has launched smart traffic lights, smart transportation screen, reversible lane, thermodynamic diagrams of designated drivers, smart bus, smart traffic report and other programs in Jinan, Shenzhen, Guiyang, Wuhan and other cities.[24]

Under Cheng Wei and Jean Liu's leadership, Didi Chuxing has set globalization as one of the company's key strategies. In the past two years, DiDi has invested in ridesharing companies in various global markets, including Lyft, Grab, Ola,[25] Uber, 99,[26] Taxify[27] and Careem.[28]

Other activitiesEdit

Will has participated in several important conferences and business events:

In September 2015, Will was selected as a Co-Chair of the Summer Davos in Asia: Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015 and delivered a speech at the forum. At the conference, he discussed how the sharing economy enables traffic resources to be allocated and used in the most effective and efficient way.[29]

In the same month, Will visited the U.S. alongside President Xi Jinping and attended the 8th U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum (USCIIF) hosted by the Internet Society of China and Microsoft.[30] He was the youngest participant in the Forum.[31] Other companies attending the Forum included e.g. Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook on the U.S. side and Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu from China.[32] In an interview with Sina, he said that China has been the new driving force for the development of the Internet industry. Chinese Internet companies now can compete with U.S.counterparts or even outpace them in terms of product and business model innovation.[33]

In December 2015, Will attended the Second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. During the conference, he discussed the development of Didi Kuaidi's business and his expectation of the industry with President Xi Jinping. He also showed President Xi the big data platform of Didi Kuaidi through which he hopes to provide better services for Chinese citizens.[34]

BooksEdit

Will released his book, "DiDi: the sharing economy is changing China", co-authored by Jean Liu and Zhang Xiaofeng, and published by Posts & Telecom Press in June 2016.[35]

HonorsEdit

In 2017:

He was selected as one of the 50 Most Influential Business Leaders by Fortune China.[36]

He was named one of the Global Game Changers by Forbes.[37]

He was also selected on TIME’s 20 Most Influential People in Tech list,[38] Vanity Fair's 2017 New Establishment list[39] and Fortune's 40 under 40 list together with Jean Liu, President of DiDi.[40]

In 2016:

He was named Fortune's Businessperson of the Year[41] and Forbes Asia's Businessman of the Year[42].

He was named by Vanity Fair in its New Establishment List together with Jean Liu.[43]

He was also selected on the Wired 100 List together with Jean Liu.[44]

He was one of the "Top 10 Economic Influencers of China in 2015" recognized by Sina.com.[45]

In 2015:

He was named one of Fortune's Global "40 under 40" List of Chinese Business Leaders, and topped the China "40 under 40" together with Jean Liu.[46]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  2. ^ 宋静丽. "Didi Chuxing receives $600m investment from China Life Insurance - Business - Chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  3. ^ Beijing, Paul Carsten (2016-08-11). "Didi's Cheng Wei: Chinese patriot who tamed Uber". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  4. ^ "China taxi apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache announce $6 billion tie-up". Reuters. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  5. ^ Beijing, Alyssa Abkowitz in; Kong, Rick Carew in Hong (2016-08-01). "Uber Sells China Operations to Didi Chuxing". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  6. ^ Kong, Eva Dou in Beijing andJuro Osawa in Hong (2016-08-17). "How Uber Rival’s Founder Won Friends and Influenced Beijing". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  7. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  9. ^ Kong, Eva Dou in Beijing andJuro Osawa in Hong (2016-08-17). "How Uber Rival’s Founder Won Friends and Influenced Beijing". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  10. ^ Kong, Eva Dou in Beijing andJuro Osawa in Hong (2016-08-17). "How Uber Rival’s Founder Won Friends and Influenced Beijing". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  11. ^ Staff, WSJ. "The Early Wisdom of Didi Founder Cheng Wei". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  12. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  13. ^ Staff, WSJ. "The Early Wisdom of Didi Founder Cheng Wei". WSJ. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Wong, Gillian (2015-02-14). "Tencent, Alibaba-Backed Chinese Taxi-Hailing Apps to Merge". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  15. ^ Beijing, Alyssa Abkowitz in; Kong, Rick Carew in Hong (1 August 2016). "Uber Sells China Operations to Didi Chuxing". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "Ranking of highest valued startup companies August 2016 | Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  17. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  18. ^ "On-demand car service Didi Chuxing sees daily orders top 10 million|Companies|chinadaily.com.cn". europe.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  19. ^ Yuan, Li (2016-08-24). "China Gears Up in Artificial-Intelligence Race". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  20. ^ Yuan, Li (2016-08-24). "China Gears Up in Artificial-Intelligence Race". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  21. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "China’s Didi looks to Silicon Valley for talent to build its own self-driving car". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  22. ^ "Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went to China". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  23. ^ sina_mobile. "程维:互联网下半场是人工智能". tech.sina.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  24. ^ "3 ways Didi's big data is improving China's traffic - TechNode". TechNode. 2017-08-28. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  25. ^ "The global alliance against Uber just came online". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  26. ^ "滴滴加速出海布局 战略投资巴西移动出行服务商99_手机网易网". 3g.163.com. 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  27. ^ Russell, Jon. "China’s Didi invests in Taxify, an Uber rival operating in Europe and Africa". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  28. ^ Reuters (2017-08-09). "Chinese ride-hailing firm DiDi to invest in Careem". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  29. ^ "Introducing the Co-Chairs of our meeting in China". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  30. ^ 杨希. "Internet leaders expect to meet Xi in US - China.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  31. ^ 中国企业家网. "封面 | 程维战栗 - - 中国企业家网". www.iceo.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  32. ^ 杨希. "Internet leaders expect to meet Xi in US - China.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  33. ^ "独家专访滴滴程维:中国成互联网创新第二极". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  34. ^ "Internet giants that caught Xi's attention at Wuzhen". www.wuzhenwic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  35. ^ "《滴滴:分享经济改变中国》呈现互联网+2.0". book.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  36. ^ "2017中国最具影响力的50位商界领袖 - 财富中文网". www.fortunechina.com. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  37. ^ Gensler, Lauren. "The Global Game Changers List 2017: Evan Spiegel, Anne Wojcicki And Other Business Leaders Reshaping The World". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  38. ^ Pullen, Lisa Eadicicco, Alex Fitzpatrick, Matt Peckham, John Patrick. "The 20 Most Influential People in Tech Right Now". Time. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  39. ^ Magazine, Vanity Fair. "Vanity Fair". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  40. ^ Pullen, Lisa Eadicicco, Alex Fitzpatrick, Matt Peckham, John Patrick. "The 20 Most Influential People in Tech Right Now". Time. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  41. ^ "Cheng Wei". Fortune. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  42. ^ Wang, Yue. "Didi's Cheng Wei Is Forbes Asia's 2016 Businessman Of The Year". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  43. ^ Magazine, Vanity Fair. "The 2016 New Establishment List". The Hive. Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  44. ^ WIRED. "The WIRED 100". Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  45. ^ "2015十大经济年度人物隆重揭晓". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  46. ^ "Fortune's 2016 40 Under 40". 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2016-10-05. 

External linksEdit