Chinese Social Media Platform Weibo Faces Large-Scale Layoffs
Recently, employees of Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Weibo said on domestic job information sharing platform Maimai that their company is laying off a significant number of employees and is even asking some to leave voluntarily.
In an interview with local media outlet Time Finance, Weibo’s public relations personnel said that in order to strengthen its advantages, the company adjusted some departments, and provided internal post transfers for employees involved. Some staff without suitable posts to transfer to will be fired. However, the spokesperson did not disclose the number of employees involved in this adjustment.
In the past two years, the development of Weibo seems to be rough. More than two months ago, Weibo was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and it dropped 7.18% in the trading debut.
According to the prospectus, Weibo’s revenue has maintained steady growth for a long time, but its profit is not promising. From 2018 to 2020, its net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company was $572 million, $495 million and $313 million, respectively.
At the same time, the number of advertisers on Weibo is decreasing. During the three years from 2018 to 2020, the total number of advertisers was 2.9 million, 2.4 million and 1.6 million, respectively. In the first three quarters of 2021, there were only 800,000 advertisers on Weibo, compared with 1.4 million in the same period last year.
For a long time, advertising has been the main source of income for Weibo. In the first half of 2021, its advertising and marketing service revenue accounted for 86% of total revenue.
Under fierce market competition, Weibo is also facing policy risks. From January to November, 2021, Beijing authorities imposed 44 separate penalties on Sina Weibo, totaling 14.3 million yuan ($2.26 million).
At the end of 2021, the Chinese cyberspace regulator summoned Weibo for talks concerning the repeated display of prohibited information and content on its platform, which violated the laws and regulations of the country.