Briefing: JD.com reportedly planning to lay off as many as 12,000

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Deep Cuts Planned at China’s JD.com – The Information

What happened: JD.com is working on a new round of layoffs that could affect up to 8% of its 150,000 employees, or more than 12,000 positions across various business units, The Information reported citing investors in the Nasdaq-listed company. However, the company denied the report to TechNode on Wednesday.

“We don’t know the source of that figure, but it’s inaccurate. There have been some adjustments as a normal part of our business. In fact, JD.com plans to make 15,000 new hires, and hire 1,300 new college graduates,” JD.com spokeswoman told TechNode.

Why it’s important: So far 2019 has proved a tough year for JD.com, which is facing the pressures of a slowing macro economy, competition from Alibaba, internal reshuffling, and the aftermath of sexual assault allegations against founder Richard Liu. Rumors swirled on social media that JD.com laid off 10% to 15% of its workforce in November, although the company refuted the story. However, reports of significant personnel turnover at the executive level have been confirmed. JD.com had announced in February plans to cut the bottom-performing 10% of its management; the departure of its chief human resources officer, chief technology officer, and chief public affairs officer quickly followed. JD.com’s net losses in the fourth quarter of 2018 widened to RMB 4.8 billion (around $715 million) from RMB 900 million a year earlier, while revenue in the same period rose 22% year-on-year.

Update: story was updated on Apr. 10 to include a response from JD. com.