January 31, 2019 / 3:52 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-China's Didi weighs job cuts in support functions - The Information

* Didi plans to hire engineers in safety, driver engagement-source

* Firm's valuation exceeded $65 bln after 2018 funding round

BEIJING, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is looking at cutting headcount in some departments by up to 20 percent, technology news website The Information reported, citing a source.

The layoffs could take place mostly in support services like marketing and human resources, it reported here on Wednesday, adding that a final decision has not yet been made. The company employs over 10,000 people globally.

A spokeswoman for Didi, whose backers include U.S. peer Uber Technologies Inc, Apple Inc and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, declined to comment on the report.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that an organisational overhaul was underway and that Didi plans to hire more engineers experienced in safety and driver engagement.

The company will also offer incentives to existing employees to move to areas such as safety, product enhancement and driver engagement, source said, without specifying if there would be job cuts. The person declined to be named as the talks were still ongoing.

The move will only affect its China business and not its international operations, the source added.

Didi has been working to address public and government concerns over safety after a passenger was raped and killed by one of its drivers in August last year, about three months after another Didi user was murdered.

In December, Didi created new positions including that of a chief safety officer at the top of its leadership structure.

The company was last valued at more than $65 billion after its 2018 funding round, Reuters reported on Wednesday. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Yilei Sun in Beijing; Writing by Brenda Goh; Editing by Maju Samuel and Muralikumar Anantharaman )

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