Following Tencent, mass layoffs at

Business & Technology is trimming 10-15% of the staff at a group-buying division, adding to the list of Big Tech firms that are slashing jobs to survive Beijing’s regulatory storm.

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In yet another sign of the fallout from China’s sweeping regulatory crackdowns, is reportedly cutting 10-15% of its staff (roughly 4,000 employees) in its community-buying division.

  • JD’s layoffs are occurring in Jingxi Pinpin, the community group-buying arm of the Chinese ecommerce group. The branch was founded in 2019 to help bring the convenience of ecommerce to small towns and rural markets, a direct competitor to community group-buying giant Pinduoduo.
  • Jingxi expanded rapidly to 80 prefecture-level cities within four months of its launch. But faced with enormous losses, it was forced to shutter operations in a number of provinces last summer, including Fujian, Gansu, Guizhou, Jilin, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Shanxi.
  • This round of layoffs is also reportedly focused on select regions as Jingxi focuses on building up its supply chain in smaller, rural markets.

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The context: Chinese tech companies are preparing to cut tens of thousands of jobs this year in one of their biggest layoff rounds to date. They include Tencent — which announced layoffs of approximately 10% to 20% in its cloud and internet services division last week — along with search giant Baidu, Alibaba, and video-sharing platform Kuaishou.

  • was about a year and a half late to the group-buying frenzy, relative to its competitors such as Meituan, Pinduoduo, and Alibaba.
  • Consequently, its sales volumes are comparatively weak. According to 36Kr,’s gross merchandise value (GMV) last quarter totaled 9 billion yuan ($1.42 billion), significantly less than its competitors Pinduoduo (43 billion yuan), Meituan (38 billion yuan), and Alibaba (13 billion yuan).

The takeaway: While stock markets can sometimes be unreliable indicators of industry health, employment numbers provide a better bellwether of China’s structural reforms. As tutors, software engineers, and building contractors get cut, new jobs in climate tech, rural revitalization, semiconductors, and batteries are opening up.