Li Jian, the CEO of Chinese c-to-c used auto unicorn RenRenChe, has announced the company’s upgrade to a “2.0” business model in an internal letter to company employees. According to one employee, who spoke to (in Chinese), the lay-offs are expected to affect up to 60 percent of the company’s workforce, with headcount potentially being cut to around 300.

Didi Chuxing-backed RenRenChe has been quietly making cuts to its roster of sales staff over the past few months by launching a “partnership” scheme for salespeople. The scheme has already surpassed 4000 subscribers, making for total annual revenue of more than 160 million RMB ($23.85 million U.S.).

Partnership packages are offered at an annual flat rate of 40,000 RMB ($6,000 U.S.) and include 250 leads, 50 postings, and 12 transactions through the site per month.

Speaking to Chinese Entrepreneur, Li denied the partnership scheme’s role in streamlining the company. “Partners are the right choice for us. Even if everyone is opposed, we are determined to move forward. We firmly believe that the current direction of our business transformation is the correct one, and it will encourage people to strive harder for the company. As a start-up, it is difficult to take care of every employee, many companies struggle with this. There is always a process of natural selection, and some are eliminated because they aren’t competent, and some because the company’s business model changes.”

RenRenChe was listed on the list of China’s unicorns for the first time in May. The list was compiled by leading industry research and consultancy firm, with an estimated market value of around $1 billion U.S.

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