Cheng Wei, 34, was once collaborator to the leader of a foot knead firm. A week ago, his organization Didi Chuxing sacked Uber’s China business in an arrangement esteeming his ride-hailing start-up at $35 billion – a second accomplishment in as many number of years in an exhausting fight with an adversary, Uber.

Financial specialists, Investors and Didi staff say Cheng has a composed attitude, a sharp vital eye and an absence of self image – all crucial in going up against and beating Uber in a two-year, multi-billion-dollar scrap for China’s focused ride-hailing market.

Yet, his initiative style is likewise relentless and tinged with patriotism, say some of the individuals who know him. He regularly references China’s history and military in his discourses.

He will be nearly observed now as he hopes to turn his unlimited, cash losing ride-hailing organization into an important business. Chinese media have reported that Didi clients and drivers fear the organization’s virtual imposing business model will mean pricier rides and lower compensation.

“He’s most likely one of the quickest developing CEOs I’ve seen. If not the best then certainly one of the main three, and I back many people,” said Hans Tung, overseeing investments at GGV Capital, which has financed Beijing-based Didi.

Cheng, who favors rectangle-encircled glasses and polo shirts, likewise has a canny eye for ability -, for example, contracting remote instructed rainmaker and ex-Goldman Sachs financier Jean Liu – and dealt with Didi’s association with significant speculators Alibaba and Tencent, who are sharp web rivals, say the individuals who have worked with him.

“All things considered, you’d say this person is truly fortunate, yet on the other side, he knows who the right individuals to know are and who to have great associations with, and how to inspire them to function with him,” said a man who has worked with and prompted Cheng for quite a long time. “It’s an extremely special identity characteristic.”


Cheng was conceived in 1983 in a residential area in the southeastern territory of Jiangxi.

At the point when the time came to sit China’s requesting college placement tests, he was sick yet did what’s needed to get into Beijing University of Chemical Technology, said Allen Zhu, overseeing chief of GSR Ventures and an early financial specialist in Didi.

A graduate in Administration, Cheng accepted a position at a medicinal services organization, however discovered it wasn’t exactly what he had anticipated. “He was a right hand to an administrator at a foot knead organization,” said Zhu. “He thought it wasn’t intriguing, and after around a year he connected to join Alibaba as a businessperson.”

In six years, Cheng rose to being a business supervisor for the north of China, before moving to the e-trade gathering’s online installment arm, Alipay, where he was delegate general director.

In 2012, he established Beijing Orange Technology Co and propelled Didi Dache – signifying “Beep Call a Taxi” – the underlying incarnation of his ride-hailing administration.

The next year, Didi had its first keep running in with Uber, yet as a potential suitor as opposed to an opponent.

Uber fellow benefactor and director Garrett Camp was in China at the time Didi was having a second round of gathering pledges, reviewed GGV’s Tung, who was then at Qiming Venture Partners and presented the two gatherings.

“I urged Uber to put resources into Didi in light of the fact that China’s not a simple business sector to break, but rather it was too soon for Uber,” he said.

Rather, Tencent supported Didi in mid-2013, starting a granulating war against Alibaba-upheld rival Kuaidi Dache. Both tossed a huge number of dollars into sponsoring rides for travelers and giving drivers rewards to pick up piece of the overall industry.

Early a year ago, that war finished with a merger of the two organizations into Didi Kuaidi, which later got to be Didi Chuxing.

“It’s intense rivalry,” said the consultant to Cheng of the ride-hailing segment. “In any case, that is an exceptional aspect regarding him; when it’s a great opportunity to do an arrangement, he’s extremely commonsense.”


The respite, however, was brief.

Uber quickly picked up footing in China after its nearby unit got a trade infusion out late 2014 from Baidu Inc, the third of China’s three web heavyweights.

In the long run, Didi won out after it additionally picked up support from Apple Inc.

For Cheng, who will sit on Uber’s board, winning was about more than his organization seeing off an opponent.

“He continued saying that Chinese web organizations on Chinese soil have not lost to an outside organization, and Didi won’t be the first to do as such,” said a previous representative who would not like to be named because of a paranoid fear of endangering business connections.

Cheng pepped up workers with energetic melodies, for example, Tu Honggang’s “Jingzhong Baoguo”, about somebody ensuring China amid a period of war.

GGV’s Tung says Cheng is “jianghu’, which deciphers as having a ‘wild sturdiness’ or somebody who has a ‘principle of the wilderness’ mindset. “That enthusiasm is exceptionally macho in a Chinese sense. Individuals will think: ‘This is a person I can stay with in light of the fact that he’s going to deal with us and lead, and we’ll kick ass and impact the world forever’,” he said.

“It’s not about calculations and information and the best model. It’s significantly more human touch.”

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Beijing Newsroom, and Elzio Barreto in Hong Kong; Editing by Ian Geoghegan) BrownInvestmentsMobileStartupsTechApple,Didi Chuxing,GGV Capital,Tencent,UberCheng Wei, 34, was once collaborator to the leader of a foot knead firm. A week ago, his organization Didi Chuxing sacked Uber's China business in an arrangement esteeming his ride-hailing start-up at $35 billion - a second accomplishment in as many number of years in an exhausting fight with...From A Geek to a Geek