Mark Haoyong Yang — the former founder and CEO of Ganji.com, and subsequently the founder of c-to-c used auto marketplace Guazi.com — has stepped down as executive director of the company’s new autos marketplace subsidiary Maodou.com. He has been replaced by Ding Wei 丁彧.
Guazi became CheHaoDuo (AKA, CARS Group) in 2017, encapsulating Guazi.com and the newly formed Maodou.com. CheHaoDuo bagged $1.5 billion U.S. in fresh funding from SoftBank‘s Vision Fund in February. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investment valued CheHaoDuo at $8.5 billion U.S., while Bloomberg quoted a CheHaoDuo representative who said the valuation was more than $9 billion U.S.
SoftBank’s assessment of the company’s value was so high that it reportedly rankled the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi — the main investors in the Vision Fund. Furthermore, 58.com (NYSE: WUBA), which incubated Guazi, has cut its position in CheHaoDuo from 45.6 percent after its spin-off in 2015 to just 8 percent today. 58.com’s most recent annual report disclosed that the company sold off an 11 percent stake in the company for $713.6 million U.S. in February (valuing it closer to $7 billion U.S. than $9 billion).
In late 2018, Guazi and Maodou.com each announced that they would be making an aggressive expansion into offline retail, with Guazi’s offline used auto malls set to be operated on a c-to-b-to-c model. Rival RenRenChe launched a direct sales used auto dealership brand of its own in late 2018.