The world’s largest smartphone vendor Samsung is planning major layoffs in China, Tencent’s online news portal QQ.com reported on Monday, citing an unidentified source close to the matter.
The source said that a meeting about the layoff was held within Samsung’s offices in Beijing today in the afternoon, adding that the massive dismissal may affect the multinational conglomerate’s Chinese staff in the smartphone sales and marketing departments. The detailed layoff plans had not been finalized yet, the source mentioned.
QQ.com‘s report came shortly after rumors surfaced online indicating that Samsung was to merge its 11 branch offices and representing agencies in China into 5 entities, firing one-third of the staff. Samsung did not reply to QQ.com‘s request to comment.
However, Samsung later said to news portal Sina.com that the move aims to improve its competitiveness in China in the 5G era, also stating that that the firm will continue to offer better products and services to its Chinese consumers.
Samsung recently closed down in September its last plant in China located in Huizhou, southeast Guangdong Province, after its smartphone market share in the country fell sharply. Samsung was left out of the top 5 smartphone vendors in China during 2019, according to Canalys. Huawei topped the list with 41.5 million units in shipment while Vivo came as a remote second, with 17.5 million shipped units. No specific data for Samsung was provided.
The company is still the first vendor worldwide. Samsung shipped 78.9 million smartphones in the third quarter of this year, beating Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, and Oppo, according to data released by Canalys.