Cheng Wei

Cheng Wei is a Chinese entrepreneur, chiefly famous for creating the taxi-hailing app Didi Dache and turning it into the huge mobile transportation platform Didi Chuxing.

In accordance to Chinese naming traditions, his family name is Cheng and his given name Wei. Among English speakers, he frequently uses his English nickname Will.

In 2016, Didi Chuxing acquired Uber China. As a part of the deal, Cheng joined Uber’s board of directors.

Together with Jean Liu and Zhang Xiaofeng, Cheng wrote the book “DiDi: the sharing economy is changing China”, published by Posts & Telecom Press in June 2016.

Early life

Cheng Wei was born in Shangrao on May 19, 1983. Shangrao is a city in the Chinese province of Jiangxi.

Cheng went to Beijing University of Chemical Technology where the earned a BA in administration.

Early career

After graduating from university, Cheng started working as an assistant to one of the chairmen at a foot massage company. A year later, in 2005, he sent in his application for a sales position at Alibaba’s B2B e-commerce service.

Cheng was hired by Alibaba and would come to spend the next six years with that company, eventually rising to the level of sales manager for northern China. He then moved to Alipay, a large payment platform founded by Alibaba Group. At Alipay, he soon became the company’s youngest regional manager.

Didi Dache – Didi Chuxing

In 2012, Cheng left Alipay to found Beijing Orange Technology Co Ltd in Zhongguancun and launch the ride-hailing service Didi Dache together with Jean Liu. (Zhongguancun is the Chinese equivalent of North America’s Silicon Valley.)

In 2015, Didi Dache merged with its arch enemy Kuaidi Dache to form Didi Kuaidi. This name was later changed to Didi Chuxing. In 2016, the company acquired Uber China.

Today, Didi Chuxing is one of the world’s highest valued tech start-ups.

Examples of accolades

Year Accolade
2015 Included in Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of Chinese Business Leaders
2016 Named Businessperson of the Year by Fortune Magazine
2016 Named Asia’s Businessman of the Year by Forbes
2016 Included in Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment List” together with Jean Liu
2016 Included in the Wired 100 List, together with Jean Liu
2017 Included in the “50 Most Influential Business Leaders” list by Fortune China
2017 Included in the “Global Game Changers” list by Forbes
2017 Included in the “20 Most Influential People in Tech” list by TIME, together with Jean Liu