Alibaba refutes rumours of large-scale layoffs

In response to a wave of online rumours suggesting that Alibaba was planning to undergo large-scale layoffs across business divisions, the e-commerce giant took to social media to set the rumours straight.

According to Global Times, rumours swirling online suggested that Alibaba had been planning to lay off approximately 20% of its workforce shortly after unveiling its restructuring process, including an IPO plan for AliCloud and Cainiao. 

Moreover, payroll data at the end of March revealed a sizeable decrease in its headcount – down 4,524 people from December’s 235,216 according to its first-quarter report. In the past 12 months, Alibaba has cut approximately 7% off its workforce, equating to a total loss of 19,725 full-time employees.

The ordeal managed to stir up a frenzy on Chinese social media. On Weibo, the hashtags “Alibaba refuting layoff rumours” and “Alibaba responds to layoffs” amassed a staggering 18.656 million views and 42.93 million views respectively. Meanwhile, another hashtag “Alibaba plans to recruit 15,000 people this year” garnered a whopping 160 million views.

Refuting the rumours, the e-commerce giant revealed its plans to hire 15,000 new employees in 2023 across its six independently-run business divisions under its largest-ever corporate restructuring, with over 3,000 of these positions intended for fresh graduates.

“Each year we see newcomers joining and old colleagues leaving. The movement of talent is what all companies see. At Alibaba, talent is moving in and out normally,” the company said in the post. “In the face of new situations, new opportunities and new developments, we have never stopped innovating and upgrading ourselves, nor have we stopped recruiting and cultivating outstanding talent.”


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