Since this year, Chinese Internet companies have started cutting wages and laying off employees in the most significant wave of unemployment in history. On Dec. 12, a user posted a video on social media stating that on the night of Dec. 7, an employee of ByteDance Hangzhou jumped from a building because he was fired.
Live video showed many bloodstains at the incident scene, a person wearing a silver scarf, surrounded by police cars.
After the video was posted, many social media users expressed their regret, “Oh, what a victim of an extensive factory downsizing,” and “I guess that the fired person is unable to pay his debt.”
Another user said, “a friend next to me, his house was mortgaged. Initially, both paid a debt of 16,000 yuan (2,500 USD) a month, now they are unemployed and hungry.”
An employee of Bytedance posted on a workplace platform that the company’s marketing team was being adjusted.
“Wenzhou branch has already laid off everyone.”
Several employees said that they were laid off in-person, and telemarketing centers have all been cut by 30% to 70%.
On the same day, an employee of ByteDance’s human resources department told reporters that the layoff information was accurate. And they claim it is normal for the company system to have adjustments.
Since this year, major Chinese Internet companies have laid off employees, whether fresh graduates or long-time programmers. Many large companies had laid-off employees, including Tencent, ByteDance, iQIYI, Kuaishou, and more. Some departments had layoffs of as much as 70%, which has become a hot topic.
On Zhihu, a popular question-and-answer website in China, human resources manager users explained that the wave of layoffs is due to large companies’ recruitment strategies. The company only has fixed spots for the most skilled, and they will recruit many new graduates continuously. Because they are new to work, they have no work experience and thus a low salary. Many Internet companies now use this strategy when laying staff, and compensation is not much.
In addition, there is a phenomenon of reverse wages in China, which means that the newcomers get higher salaries than the old ones. The reverse salary will lead to much internal dissatisfaction, even making the former employees get angry and resign. Therefore, the company does not need to pay for the layoff compensation.