Internet and online games giant NetEase is restructuring its businesses to focus on its e-commerce wing and give a boost to revenues. It is also laying off 50% of its employees.
Until now NetEase’s mailbox department was handling Yanxuan, NetEase's e-commerce platform for "unbranded" products. The restructuring will now make the e-commerce business a separate entity and as big as the mailbox business. The company is also reportedly in talks to merge its international shopping platform Kaola with Amazon China.
In recognition of their importance, a few businesses from NetEase Hangzhou Research Institute were also divested. NetEase Education Products, which was functioning under it and has the products NetEase Cloud Classroom and MOOC (massive open online course), will now merge with NetEase.
The educational product unit Icourse163 will downsize a third of its employees and public relations will lose over 40% of its staff.
NetEase told the media that they were indeed undergoing structural optimization and will be more focused. “In order to further enhance the innovation capability and organizational efficiency, the NetEase differentiation advantage will be fully utilized to adapt to longer-term market competition," it said.
Thanks to the slowing economy, NetEase has joined the list of Chinese internet companies eager to cut jobs and control expenses. Recently, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing let go of as many as 2,000 employees, almost 15% of its workforce. JD.com, the Nasdaq listed e-commerce group, is planning to cut 10% of its top management jobs this year. Hong Kong-listed Meituan Dianping laid off hundreds of its employees in December last year.