China ride-sharing app DiDi Global this morning responded to a Reuters report that President Jean Liu plans to leave the company, saying: “Reuters’ rumors about management changes are untrue and unsubstantiated.”
“We strongly condemn those malicious and repeated rumors fabricated and distributed on certain media against DiDi, and reserve all rights to pursue legal actions against such acts of infringement,” DiDi said in a statement distributed by PR firm SVC.
Liu “has told some close associates that she intends to step down,” Reuters reported yesterday, citing two sources familiar the matter. The executive has also “in recent weeks told some associates that she expected the government to eventually take control of Didi and appoint new management,” the two sources said, according to Reuters.
DiDi lost 6.6% in New York trading on Monday after the report, and ended 45% below its June IPO price of $14 a share.
The company faces regulatory probes in China and class-action lawsuits in connection with its listing in New York. Its app was banned from the app store in China days after the listing.
“DiDi is actively and fully cooperating with the cybersecurity review,” the statement said.
Liu is the daughter of China computer industry pioneer Liu Chuanzhi and once worked at Goldman. DiDi investors include Softbank New Vision Fund, which holds a 20% stake, Uber 12%, and Tencent 6%, according to the company’s prospectus.
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Chairman Cheng Wei, 38, who holds an approximately 6.5% stake, holds a fortune worth $2.4 billion, according to today’s Forbes Real-Time Rich List.