Chinese internet and gaming giant Netease is slashing up to 50% of headcount from several business units, including e-commerce arm Yanxuan and its Hangzhou-based educational product unit, as it focuses on core businesses and boosting returns.

The layoffs began in January, and is ongoing. Yanxuan will trim 40% of staff and Weiyang, NetEase’s pig farm business, will reduce employees by 50%, said an unnamed employee to Chinese media. The educational product unit, which runs Netease’s open online education platform, Icourse163, will downsize a third of its employees, and public relations lost more than 40% of its staff.

A company spokesperson told TechNode on Thursday that Netease is reorganizing to regain its core business focus and better leverage competitive strengths moving forward.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen