What happened: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has reportedly cut travel spending and told new hires that they can only begin working in April, the fiscal new year. The travel cuts include business class airfare, with staff only being able to select a premium cabin on every fifth round trip that exceeds 20 hours. Sources also told Bloomberg that new hire headcounts are shrinking, with some people being told they would only be offered a job if they agreed to start working in April.
Why it’s important: China-US trade tensions and the country’s slowing economy have affected hardware manufacturers to consumer-facing businesses including the world’s most valuable startup Bytedance, which has said it barely hit its 2018 revenue target. In September, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma warned about the challenges the company and economy would face should trade tensions escalate. Ma said that the trade dispute could last 20 years, much longer than just Donald Trump’s presidency.