Several big internet companies in China have been reported as cutting jobs since early December, including online travel app Qunar and consumer website Meituan-Dianping.
A former employee at Qunar told Caixin its q+ project, under the big accommodation division, has laid off more than 100 people as of December 22. Qunar acknowledged to the Global Times that the project didn't meet its expectation and was closed now, but that only 57 people had left the company within the last two weeks.
Out of the 51,207 employees at Meituan (as of the end of June), only around 0.5% of them (approximately 256 people) were affected by layoffs, the company said.
Although most companies denied mass layoffs and gave the explanation as optimizing business and staffing structure simultaneously, industry insiders told the Global Times that there are indeed significant layoffs in the internet industry and the external business environment plays a bigger part in the downsizing than company's internal problems.
The internet industry has developed so well in China in the past 20 years with an impressive number of internet users growing year after year, but has hit a slowdown in growth levels at present, said Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based internet analyst.
Liu said it is a trend to cut off the sectors with low output-input ratio and keep the lucrative or potentially lucrative teams in the internet companies.
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