Tencent to axe 10 percent of senior managers: Report

A number of Chinese tech companies have reportedly announced plans to axe staff despite the claims being denied by China’s official department.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Tencent Holdings has started its largest-ever executive redundancy with plans to lay off about 10 percent of senior managers as part of its recent organisational restructuring, Chinese news website 36kr reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the layoffs commenced after Tencent's internal staff meeting in December and mostly affected employees at the middle management level. Tencent had around 200 middle-level managers, with 10 percent of that figure being made redundant.Those made redundant came from roles at the assistant general manager, deputy general manager, general manager, and vice president levels within the company, the report said.

Tencent has not responded to the media report. Earlier reports suggest the Shenzhen-based company is trying to nurture younger executives as Tencent's founder Pony Ma acknowledges that less than 10 people among Tencent's thousands of director-level staff are aged under 30.

Tencent's staff optimisation follows another e-commerce giant, JD.com, eliminating about 10 percent of executives in the positions of vice president or above following its annual meeting in February. JD.com confirmed the news to Chinese media but did not provide further details.

Didi Chuxing, which owns around 80 percent of ride-sharing market, said last month that it would axe around 2,000 staff members, or 15 percent of its entire workforce, this year.

Although reports over the past few months have indicated that other Chinese technology giants like Huawei and Alibaba also have plans to release staff and scale back on hiring, and that some unicorn startups in China have also axed staff in the face of growth stagnation, China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, has rebutted such reports.

Last week, China's search engine giant Baidu unveiled its executive retirement plan, which aims to invigorate its management team by fostering more young executives as revenue growth slows amid lackluster external environment.

Baidu said it would speed up the nurturing of young leaders and bring more people born after 1980 and 1990 into its management team, Chinese reports said on Friday.

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