Chinese technology companies, including Alibaba and Tencent, are cutting back on hiring new staff as the country faces economic uncertainty.
The number of internet and IT positions advertised in China dropped by 20% in the December quarter, according to a report by China’s largest jobs website, Zhaopin and Renmin University.
The report found the drop was most significant in the internet and online gaming sectors, where ads declined 23% and 30% respectively.
The findings are in line with moves made by the Chinese government last year to stop issuing licenses for commercial video games. The freeze had a significant impact on China’s gaming industry, particularly hurting Tencent, which dominates the gaming market and is yet to have any licenses approved since the ban was lifted.
E-commerce giant Alibaba has reportedly postponed hiring new staff until the new fiscal year begins in April, according to Bloomberg.
Alibaba chairman Jack Ma warned last year that the ongoing US-China trade war could have a long-lasting impact on China’s economy.
Business experts and analysts are predicting China’s technology sector is slowing down as uncertainty around the country’s economy deepens and consumer spending slows.
Meanwhile, mergers and acquisitions in China hit the lowest level in three years as the Government tightened restrictions on companies raising money from the stock market and new rules on shareholders came into effect, according to South China Morning Post.
The combined effect saw the number of deals decrease by 12% to 291 in 2018 compared with the previous year. The total transaction value increased 3% to $29.1 billion.
Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba were the biggest participants in M&A deals. Of the top 20 deals, Tencent invested in Pinduoduo, JD Logistics, Full Truck Alliance Group, Kuaishou, and Douyu, while Alibaba invested in Focus Media, Lazada, Wanda Film Holding, and Ofo. Both tech giants also invested in Chinese entertainment company CMC.