Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi is reportedly firing "an average of 20%" of its employees across departments, with least profitable divisions expected to see job cuts as high as 40%, according to Chinese financial news outlet Caixin Global. This comes after the company suffered an operating loss of US$212.3 million and an operating loss margin of 18% during the third quarter of 2021, compared to an operating loss of approximately US$188.3 million and an operating loss margin of 17% in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, another Chinese financial news outlet, Yicai, also reported that iQiyi is firing between 20% to 40% of its employees. At the same time, The Business Times reported that iQiyi plans to reduce wages by a fifth and the company claimed to have a headcount of more than 7,700 individuals at the end of last year. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to iQiyi for comment.
According to iQiyi, net loss attributable to iQiyi was US$268.4 million, compared to net loss attributable to iQiyi of about US$188.3 million in the same period last year. Online advertising services revenue was US$257.7 million, representing a 10% decrease from the same period in 2020, primarily due to less premium content launched during the quarter and the challenging macroeconomic environment in China.
On the other hand, content distribution revenue was US$97.3 million, representing a 60% increase from the same period in 2020. The increase was primarily driven by more content titles distributed to other platforms during the quarter. Last December, iQiyi said it planned to hire 200 new employees in the news few years amidst the launch of its international headquarters in Singapore. IQiyi's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE previously that the hiring will be across content, ad sales, community engagement, marketing and partnerships. According to LinkedIn, there are currently 32 employees in Singapore, 24 in Malaysia, and 18 from Hong Kong. Majority are based in Beijing and Shanghai.
Separately, iQiyi was also in the spotlight recently after it reportedly distanced itself from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The Chinese streaming platform had asked WTA to remove its name from the organisation's site last week prior to the organisation's decision to suspend events in China. According to The Wall Street Journal, the request was made ahead of WTA's decision that it would suspend all events in China, including Hong Kong. This came in response to continue questions over the safety of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai who accused the former senior vice premier of China's State Council, Zhang Gaoli, of having sexually assaulted her for a long period of time.
Photo courtesy: 123RF
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