Technology Dec 27

Cab app firm boss hails resilience as key to success in 2021 

Didi president Liu Qing says tech firms need to be honest with their users to cope with the peaks and troughs of the year ahead 

Cab app firm boss hails resilience as key to success in 2021 
Liu Qing's cab hailing service Didi bought out Uber in China.

(ATF) One of China’s few female tech bosses has spoken out about the importance of resilience for tech firms in 2021, in a keynote speech at the WISE2020 conference.

As China’s tech outfits are undergoing something of an ideological revolution, Liu Qing, president of Didi, a cab hailing service that bought out Uber in the country and is expanding into various other business fields, had some important advice for her peers. 

Liu, the leader of one of China’s top mobile app platforms, which has had to deal with Beijing’s newly introduced crackdown on consumer-facing big data firms, said: "Be aware of the existence of the cycle, of the uncertainty of the industry in which you are located, the organisation's resilience and ability to fight back. 

Read more: Taiwan export orders soar on the back of smartphones sales surge 

“Face yourself in a true manner, and sincerely face users – can you help the company go through the cycle and continue to grow?” she said at the conference held at 36Kr. 

Other Chinese tech bosses have been under Beijing’s microscope, Jack Ma’s recent travails being a prime example.

In her keynote speech, entitled Through the Cycle of Resilience, she said this approach is the only way companies can face the challenges of a complex external environment.

Liu added: "We have a deep understanding of what is a cycle, peaks and troughs. We constantly adjust our mentality, do security, do service, do experience, technology upgrades, operation upgrades. 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

“When you realise that it is not a simple platform for matching transactions, but a platform for transporting lives, the social responsibility it carries is huge. 

“There are millions of drivers here who are fighting for a better life for their families. We look at its development. There are different patterns." 

Didi has become one of the world's well-known flexible employment platforms. Last year, a total of 13.6 million drivers earned income on its platform, reported Xinmin Wanbao, Shanghai’s main newspaper.

Liu believes that the resilience of cross-cycle organisations is also very important. Only by recognising the difficulty of what you are doing can you be more tenacious, have the ability to resist attacks and have the ability to resist fragility. 

CULTURE OF OPENNESS

She said: “Didi has led a new asset-light lifestyle and we can talk about it in a loud voice. This is the power of belief and this is a foundation of organisational resilience. A humble heart to create an organisational culture of openness, transparency, diversity and tolerance."

Liu said that there are two true things that are very helpful to her, one is to be true and not to fool yourself, and the other is to be sincere and not to fool others. It is both attitude and ability. 

She said that when Didi first received internal complaints, it was difficult. Managers needed to dedicate time to deal with employees' problems, even though some didn’t think it was unnecessary, but later they would find that the organisation is more dynamic as a result.

"The voices of young people can be heard and the distance between young people and managers has become less. In addition, Didi has also acted as a public forum,” Liu said. 

'TRUTHFULNESS AND SINCERITY'

"Our products will communicate with the media and users. Go and discuss together, listen to the opinions of users, and build together with everyone. Only in this way can there be a foundation for truthfulness and sincerity."

Didi is also growing into an international company. Liu Qing believes that to succeed abroad, dealing with different cultures, they must be eclectic and inclusive. 

Liu Qing emphasised that meeting the needs of users is the foundation of a company's existence. It must be able to "fall in love with users" and “communicate in a true and sincere way”.

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Outlook 2021: What to expect from markets in the new year

Cab app Didi Uber WISE2020 Tech