Battered by lockdowns and movement restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic, ride-hailers around the world are cutting jobs and pay, and slashing other costs. In Southeast Asia, the pandemic has raised doubts whether the ride-hailing firms can maintain their promise of improving the lives of millions of poor.
Here’s a look at what the companies are doing do tackle the fallout of the coronavirus.
Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-hailing company which counts SoftBank Group as a backer, saw its ride sharing orders in China recover this month to levels seen over the same period a year earlier, its CEO told Reuters on Monday.
The recovery in orders comes as most of China has reopened for business. China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, has seen a sharp fall in cases since March.
Uber announced last month it would concentrate on its core businesses in ride-hailing and food delivery and cut 23 percent of its workforce in an attempt to become profitable despite the coronavirus pandemic.
US ride-hailing firm Lyft said last week that rides on its platform rose 26 percent in May from the previous month, with strong growth from cities where coronavirus-induced restrictions have been eased.
Lyft said in a regulatory filing it cut 17 percent of its staff and furloughed hundreds in May.
SoftBank-backed ride-hailing company Ola said in May it would cut 1,400 jobs, or about 35 percent of its workforce, as it navigates a strict coronavirus lockdown that has halted 95 percent of its business.
SoftBank-backed Grab, which operates in eight Southeast Asian countries, said in May it is preparing for a potentially “long winter”, as the ride-hailing firm’s revenue takes a hit from the coronavirus outbreak.
The company said the pandemic was the single biggest crisis to affect the eight-year-old company, with volumes in its ride-hailing business down by double-digit percentages in some countries. It offered some staff unpaid leave and asked senior executives to take salary cuts.
The ride-hailer and payments company operates in four markets, but is focused on Indonesia, which is slowly easing lockdowns in its biggest cities.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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