What happened: Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan is reportedly dissolving its business operations in Chengdu of China’s Sichuan Province. In response to the rumor, the company announced an official statement saying that its Chengdu office is running normally as the headquarter. Local reporters, however, found that Smartisan’s 2000-square-meter office had only a few workers that day and that the company has indeed laid off around 100 workers without the knowledge of Chengdu state-owned enterprise which is their stakeholder.
Why it’s important: Although the Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan has built up a lot of hype surround the company and its celebrity founder Luo Yonghao, the company has never achieved in expanding beyond its hardcore user base. Smartisan moved its headquarter to Chengdu after the local government led an RMB 1 billion funding in the cash-strained company in 2017. Bullet Message, a WeChat rival backed by Smartisan, built up new anticipations for the company, but it seems to be a flash-in-the-pan while its download suffered steep drop weeks after its initial boom.