Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. let go of 9,241 employees in the three months to June, according to the company’s latest filing.
The Hangzhou-based firm reported it had just over 245,000 employees at the end of the most recent reporting quarter, cutting back during a period that marked its first ever contraction in revenue. Alibaba also reduced its workforce in the first three months of the year by 4,375, mirroring widespread moves among global tech companies to rein in spending at a time of rising inflation, materials costs and political tensions.
US firms like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. have cooled recruiting while Alibaba’s closest analog, Amazon.com Inc., has shed about 100,000 jobs. SoftBank Group Corp., Alibaba’s biggest shareholder and among the world’s most lavish venture capital spenders, promised this week to implement sweeping cost-cutting measures that would significantly affect headcount.
Once the most valuable company in China, Alibaba has seen its market value tumble after Beijing launched its sweeping crackdown on the private sector more than a year ago. The government forced its finance affiliate, Ant Group Co., to call off what would have been the world’s largest initial public offering in 2020, and then launched reforms that have undercut Alibaba’s business model.
Abroad, the US added Alibaba to a growing roster of companies facing removal from US stock exchanges because of Beijing’s refusal to permit American officials to review their auditors’ work. The company is seeking a primary listing in Hong Kong that would enable it to tap more mainland investors, while also maintaining its listing status on the New York Stock Exchange. –BLOOMBERG