Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is downsizing: reports | Technology

The Chinese smartphone maker says it has implemented routine “staff optimization and organizational streamlining”.

Xiaomi Corp, one of China’s biggest smartphone makers, has begun mass layoffs, cutting its workforce by up to 15%, a Hong Kong-based newspaper reported, citing social media and media posts. Chinese.

Social media platforms such as Weibo, Xiaohongshu and Maimai have been inundated with posts from laid off employees as the layoffs took place across several units of the company’s smartphone and internet services business, the South reported on Tuesday. China Morning Post.

Xiaomi had 35,314 employees as of September 30, the newspaper reports, with the vast majority of them based in mainland China.

The layoffs, if confirmed, would affect thousands of workers, many of whom recently joined the company after a hiring spree that began last year.

A Xiaomi spokesperson did not comment directly on the reported layoffs, but said the company had undergone routine streamlining.

“Xiaomi recently implemented routine workforce optimization and organizational streamlining, with affected parties accounting for less than 10% of the total workforce,” the spokesperson told Al Jazeera. “Those affected have been compensated in accordance with local regulations.”

The reported layoffs come just months after the smartphone maker announced bold plans to challenge Apple’s dominance in high-end smartphones.

In February, Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun said Xiaomi was at “war” with Apple and aimed to become China’s biggest premium brand within the next three years.

Xiaomi reported a 9.7% drop in third-quarter revenue in November amid tight restrictions from the “zero-COVID” pandemic in China and weakening consumer demand. Smartphone revenue, which accounts for 60% of total sales, fell 11% year-on-year, Xiaomi said.

Xiaomi saw a surge in sales in 2021 as Washington-imposed sanctions hampered Huawei Technologies’ US operations, before reporting its first-ever quarterly drop in revenue in May.

With Xiaomi’s share price having fallen nearly 50% since the start of the year, the company has been looking for new areas of growth. These efforts include a foray into electric vehicles, which are expected to begin mass production in 2024.

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