ByteDance confirms layoffs at commercialisation team up to 70%

The commercialisation team at ByteDance is set to be downsized by 30-70% in the near future, as reported by Chinese media The Paper on 19 October.

A staff member at ByteDance’s HR department explained that the layoff is a “normal business adjustment” and that this is not a cause for concern, but this is not the case for employees.

Dozens of recent graduates recruited this year, for the company’s gaming division, working on Ohayoo (a casual mobile game) were laid off as part of this downsizing within ByteDance.

This news is according to an anonymous poster on Zhihu (China’s answer to Quora), who claimed to be one of the recent graduates who has been made redundant.

The commercialisation team has been installed in some of the country’s economically better-off areas, in the form of direct-operated centres. In total, twenty such centres have been set up across the country in the past few years, giving the impression of growth that this downsizing stands in opposition to. 

This news emerged after a series of withdrawals of the tech giant’s direct management centres, including one in the city of Luoyang in Henan province around National Day.

As part of this withdrawal, more than 100 employees were “urged” to leave their job, within a matter of two days during the job cut in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province on 12 October. ByteDance is continuing this downsizing process as a centre in Jinhua is due to be removed by the end of this month.

These actions could be a consequence of the government’s crackdowns on education and the gaming industry this year, with the Chinese government blocking children from accessing online games during weekdays.

It is worth noting that this is speculation from an insider, advising some of China’s tech giants on commercialisation strategies, who spoke in an interview with the Chinese media outlet the Economic Observer.

Earlier in August, ByteDance shut down its one-to-one English tutoring platform in compliance with the government regulations following the “Double Reduction” policy. So we know that ByteDance values its compliance with government regulations, meaning this withdrawal is likely to be due to its relationship with the CCP.

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