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NetEase said to start large scale layoffs to “optimise business”

Written by Song Jingli Published on   1 min read

Although “optimization” might seem rhetorical, that might be part of the fact of China’s internet sector.

China’s second largest gaming company NetEase has joined many other Chinese tech giants in downsizing and restructuring business units. At NetEase, its e-commerce, organic farming. and education business are among those affected by job cuts.

NetEase’s e-commerce portal Yanxuan fired 30-40% of its staff while the agricultural brand Weiyang was cut by 50 percent, according to a report by China’s leading news magazine Caijing. The education unit, with a staff of 300, let go of 100 people. 40 percent of NetEase’s public relations staff were also laid off.

However, NetEase did not confirm the downsizing and instead told TechCrunch that the company is undergoing structural optimisation to narrow its focus.

Although “optimisation” might be a euphemism, radical job cuts, restructuring, and re-staffing are the new normal in China’s internet sector.

JD.com confirmed that the company is hiring a total of 15,000 entry-level employees, following its decision to fire 10% of its underperforming senior executives.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said the company is laying off 15% of employees positioned on its non-core business such as food delivery, but at the same time says it’s hiring about 2,500 new employees that fit Didi’s new safety-focused strategy.

Meanwhile, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, or Zhang Yong in Chinese, said the tech giant would not fire but keep opening new positions, following previous reports that the firm is cutting its spending and postponing some new hiring.


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