More Than Half of China's Leading Companies Downsized in 2023

By Yinmai O'Connor, July 9, 2024

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Last year saw major layoffs and salary cuts throughout all sectors in China. Annual reports from 23 of China’s biggest firms – including the top five companies in real estate, internet, automotive and financial industries, as well as three of the largest electronic car manufacturers  showed that 14 of them downsized their work forces, while others slashed salaries and cut staff related expenses. 

China’s largest property developer, Poly Real Estate, fired 16.3% of their employees – a whopping 11,000 jobs – in the past year. Despite subsidies provided by the government to support the market, real estate investments and sales have remained slow.

Image via Ai

Last year, Tencent reduced their number of employees by 2.8% (3,000 jobs) and continued the trend with another 630 layoffs in the first quarter of 2024. In addition, Weibo, Xiaomi,, Didi Chuxing and Bilibili all announced plans to reduce their staff earlier this year. 

The automotive industry has also been hit hard, and several of the largest Chinese electric vehicle companies such as Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto have all decreased their budgets for staff. Beijing-based Li Auto laid off 18% of their employees in recent months, after expanding by an ambitious 62% just last year.

Image via Ai

Electric car maker BYD was the only one of the major auto industry players to ramp up hiring in 2023, with an impressive increase of 23% (130,000 employees).

However, leaders and analysts remain hopeful, and say the focus should be on supporting the private sector with investments, as well as discovering new industries that will bring more job opportunities within China.

For the latest updates on news, follow our official WeChat account, ThatsBeijing.

[Cover image via Dealmoon]

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