Youzan, one of China’s largest e-commerce service companies, is reportedly planning to lay off 1,500 people, or nearly 30% of its employees. The company is the latest Chinese tech firm to cut workers as Beijing enters the second year of tightening regulations. 

Why it matters: Youzan, which develops software helping merchants to sell products on various Chinese online platforms, has faced substantial challenges as one of its major clients, social video giant Kuaishou, is developing its own software services as it aims to rake more profit from the booming livestream retail sector.

  • The contribution from marketers on Kuaishou has fallen by half from its highest level when it accounted for 20% of Youzan’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) in the first half of 2021, according to its interim financial report released in August.

Details: Earlier this month, Hong Kong-listed Youzan kicked off a wave of layoffs in departments involving research and development (R&D), Chinese media Sina Tech reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

  • More job cuts will be conducted among various departments this year, as the people estimated that more than 1,500 employees would be forced to leave the company. Hangzhou-headquartered Youzan had 4,358 employees as of Sept. 30.
  • The company recently parted ways with Chen Jinhui, a former executive at Baidu’s takeaway service who joined the company as a vice president of sales channels in mid-2017.
  • Youzan did not immediately respond to TechNode’s request for comment.

Context: Multiple Chinese big tech companies, including BytedanceBaidu, and Kuaishou, have been carrying out layoffs and lowering their growth targets amid a slowing economy and a tightened regulatory environment.

  • Youzan reported a 10% year-on-year decrease in revenue to RMB 1.17 billion (around $185 million) for the first three quarters of 2021, while its losses nearly doubled from RMB 340 million in the same period of 2020.

Read more: INSIGHTS│The TechNode community reviews China tech 2021

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