Two of China's biggest tech companies, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, are preparing to lay off tens of thousands of employees combined this year as the country continues its regulatory crackdown, sources told Reuters.
This would amount to potentially 15% of Alibaba's workforce, or 39,000 people in China's biggest ecommerce company. For Tencent, which owns WeChat, the cuts could amount to 10% to 15% of its 94,000 workers, specifically within the video-streaming and search unit.
In light of antitrust and cybersecurity concerns, Chinese regulators have started taking a more heavy-handed approach toward reining in the growth of the country's tech giants in the world's second-largest economy. Despite the crackdown, WeChat experienced stunning daily user growth in 2021.
These cuts come as Alibaba was already in the process of laying off workers in its consumer services division, which includes food and grocery delivery and mapping.
Alibaba has been in hot water since 2020, when founder Jack Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators.