Ride-hailing startups have become known for burning cash, and Didi is no exception. The leading Chinese player in the field reportedly lost triple the amount of money in 2018 compared to 2017.
The sizable loss of 10.9 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) for 2018 dwarfed the 250 million yuan loss from the year before, according to internal financial documents obtained by Chinese tech news site 36Kr. Didi did not respond to Caixin's request for comment.
Didi’s founder said last September that the company lost around 400 million yuan in the first half of 2018, which means its loss accelerated in the second half of the year to nearly 700 million.
But the loss is not surprising, as the company has faced public anger and tighter governmental oversight after drivers killed passengers in two separate cases last year.
Reports also said Didi spent an astonishing 1.13 billion yuan on driver subsidies in 2018, probably a result of the tighter regulations. Ride-sharing companies have had to spend more money to attract compliant vehicles and drivers as stricter policies have limited their pools of employee candidates.
The company has not yet posted a profit in its six year history, according to an announcement it made last August.