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TikTok Possibly Planning Layoffs

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU) recently published an article saying that “informed sources” have said TikTok is planning large-scale layoffs. Specifically, TikTok’s global user operations department is facing dissolution. “A large part” of the department’s 1,000 employees will be affected by the layoffs, and the remaining employees will be reallocated to content, products, marketing, and security departments. The reasons for these potential layoffs, as well as the specific number of employees to be let go, are currently unclear. TikTok has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Some employees already received termination notices as early as the evening of May 21. TikTok has rarely conducted large-scale layoffs in the past. The move is indicative of the company’s strategy in the face of huge pressures — it intends to cut operating costs and seek long-term strategic changes.

On April 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the TikTok platform to divest from its Chinese parent company ByteDance before a nine-month deadline. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in TikTok being banned from operating in the United States. The bill has been signed into law by President Biden. TikTok responded by calling the new law unconstitutional and filing a lawsuit in early May.

TikTok’s performance in the field of non-game applications was outstanding in 2023, with its in-app purchase revenue reaching US$4 billion, ranking first among non-game applications. TikTok’s lifetime cumulative revenue has exceeded the US$10 billion mark, with 80 percent of its revenue coming from the U.S. market.

Source: Sohu, May 23, 2024