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JD.com sheds 10% of top management due to China's economic uncertainty

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By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

February 20, 2019 | 4 min read

JD.com is set to retrench around 10% of its top management in China, a move similar to its competitors, as the country faces economic uncertainty.

The retrenchment was announced at the company’s annual party, according to Chinese news website Sina Tech, which cited unnamed sources. JD.com currently has more than 100 senior executives.

A report by China’s largest jobs website Zhaopin and Renmin University in January found the number of Internet and IT positions advertised in China dropped by 20% in the December quarter.

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The retrenchment was announced at the company’s annual party, according to Chinese news website Sina Tech.

The report found the drop was most significant in the Internet and online gaming sectors, where ads declined 23% and 30% respectively as the likes of Alibaba and Tencent cut back on hiring new staff.

In response to Reuters queries on the layoffs, a JD.com spokesperson said: “We are actively promoting the empowerment of staff at all levels, with the aim of maximizing resources to provide equal opportunities for qualified talent and to ensure quality growth of the business in the future.”

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JD.com has in recent times turned its focus outside of China, launching in Thailand, an e-commerce platform in Indonesia, an office in South Korea and invested in Vietnamese e-commerce business Tiki.

In January, it claimed to have successfully pulled off a government-approved drone delivery in Indonesia.

The company has also restructured its e-commerce business after the company’s founder and chief executive Richard Liu was cleared of felony rape charges in the US.

Last week, Didi Chuxing, China's dominant ride-hailing company, announced it was axing 15% of its Chinese staff after it lost $1.6bn in 2018 and spent $1.67bn on subsidies for drivers.

After announcing its revenue crossed the 100bn yuan (US$14.6bn) mark in 2018 in January, Robin Li, Baidu's founder, warned employees that 2019 will not be as rosy because China’s economy is slowing down, leading many companies to restructure their businesses.

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