Someone broke on Sina Weibo today that Chinese Internet giant Tencent will be downsizing headcount in next year through scaling down and discontinuing product lines, the plan was nodded by Pony Ma, founder and CEO of Tencent.

It seems the retrenchment came as the largest Chinese Internet company is under criticism for slowing growth in cash cow business, namely online gaming. The Shenzhen-based company also made some money-losing investments into new territories in the past year.

The person who broke the news revealed that in order not to impact the company’s image and reputation, Tencent will try to pull off a layoff by discontinuing product lines, for instance, Paipai, Tencent’s Taobao counterpart will be trimmed down, more services will be outsourced to 3rd parties, no new recruitments after quitting and so on. It’s understandable the company was planning to scale down Paipai since B2C has make it to the main stream in the ecommerce space. Taobao just announced to rebrand its Taobao Mall to Tianmao (or Sky Cat), the largest B2C entity in China, a move that to many signals the cat want to get listed.

Another rumor spread over Weibo is that Alibaba has no new hiring plan in 2012.

Updated: Thanks Jeremy webb for the tips, it seems you’d better not give too much credibility to the Alibaba story since a wanted ad for Alibaba Group marketing & branding department was spotted online.