RenRenChe quietly cuts staff

14 Jan 2019

Didi Chuxing-backed used auto transaction platform RenRenChe has reportedly been cutting staff over the past few months. The cuts haven’t only affected recently shuttered regional offices, but also the Beijing office, which has seen its headcount fall from 400 in September to just more than 200 today, a former employee disclosed to Sina.com.

C-to-c auto platforms like RenRenChe, Guazi, and Uxin (NASDAQ: XIN) have been plagued by cash flow problems over the past few years. This has been exacerbated by a three-way advertising battle that has resulted in multiple instances of litigation between the three.

In November, RenRenChe confirmed that it would close 50 of its regional offices. The company’s website currently links to 77 regional sub-sites, down from the more than 100 city-sites claimed by the company in the past. Rival Guazi currently has more than 180 regional platforms.

Early indications were that the closures were linked to a business pivot away from c-to-c. Prior to the office closures, the company launched a new direct sales brand. YanXuan ShangCheng is already operating online through the RenRenChe site and as a standalone app. A network of more than 100 offline outlets will also be launched within the coming year.

Both RenRenChe and Guazi have secured enormous funding rounds in the past year, while Uxin listed on the Nasdaq in June. RenRenChe completed an undisclosed Series F+ funding round in November. It followed a Series F funding round worth $300 million U.S. in April.

An unnamed advertising representative at search giant Baidu disclosed that the company’s weekly advertising spend had fallen from 3 million RMB to around 800,000 RMB over the course of 2018.

 

 

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Tom Marling

Tom is a PhD candidate in Chinese History at Hong Kong Baptist University, and former PR consultant in Mainland China. He joined the AIM Group in 2016 as a writer/analyst.