When it comes to shocking corporate statements, few will be worse than the one published by UC Express last week: its 47 year-old chairman Yu Lianbing, who founded the Chinese courier firm 10 years ago, was found dead in his home in Shanghai on May 2.
And more shocking social media reports ensued, which suggested that police found both Yu and his 32 year-old wife both dead at their residence after neighbours heard a quarrel between them (it was their fourth wedding anniversary).
UC Express didn’t comment on the reports, and merely described Yu’s death as “an accident” without elaboration.
UC Express is a leading bulk parcel delivery firm targeting corporate customers such as Foxconn and Haier. The Shanghai-based company has more than 70,000 staff.
According to Jiemian, a news portal, Yu warned his employees at the company’s annual gathering that 2019 would be a difficult year for UC Express because of intensifying competition with bigger rivals including SF Express.
However, a defiant Yu vowed: “The highest priority is to survive and live on!”
At the time UC Express had just completed a fresh fundraising round that was worth “hundreds of millions of yuan” from investors including Global Logistic Properties. It also obtained a Rmb2 billion ($290.7 million) credit facility from lenders including Bank of China.
The company’s shareholders and creditors will be anxious to see how the tragic death of Yu – dubbed “the soul of UC Express” and a 40.7% stakeowner of the unlisted business – will impact the running of the delivery firm.
UC Express has insisted its business operations will remain unaffected. It said in a statement that Mo Haoqiang, the board director who heads the Hong Kong operation, will assume Yu’s duties as company president.
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