Struggling Meitu lays off 30% of its employees

Best known for its selfie-apps, the firm struggles with the high costs of its smartphone and e-commerce businesses

Credit: DFIC

Meitu, a Chinese smartphone maker and app developer best known for its “selfie apps”, recorded a RMB 1.2 billion (roughly US$180 million) net loss last year due to its costly smartphone and e-commerce business. As a result, the company laid off approximately 30% of its employees in the second half of 2018.

“In terms of profits, 2018 was a challenging year,” the Hong Kong-listed company said in its annual report published on Wednesday. Meitu’s annual revenue dropped 38% from RMB 4.49 billion (US$ 671 million) in 2017 to RMB 2.79 billion (US$323 million) in 2018.

Despite a 0.3% uptick of the monthly active users of its flagship app, the company’s overall MAU recorded negative growth by nearly 20%. Its viral selfie apps, BeautyCam and Meipai, have witnessed sharp MAU declines – BeautyCam’s MAU has dropped 18.2% and Meipai 60.3%.