Widespread sackings follow Missfresh conference call

Missfresh had warehouse sites in 13 cities in China but closed 9 within the first 3 days of July.

Photo from CFP

Photo from CFP

By YU Hao

 

Online grocery platform Missfresh laid off most of its staff on Thursday after an online meeting when the company’s head of HR told staff that there was no money to pay salaries, already overdue for months. Apart from the accounting and HR divisions, all employees got the same message, an employee who asked not to be named told Jiemian News.

XU Zheng, the founder of Missfresh missed the online meeting. XIAO Yungui who oversaw the company’s products said that until new funds arrive, the salaries of most employees are on hold, but the company is trying to sell assets and equity to raise money.

Missfresh said on July 14 that it had received an injection of 200 million yuan (US$35 million) from Shanxi Donghui Group. Many staff believed that was the money for their salaries.

Missfresh said its app is still operating, but users in Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing found they couldn’t place orders. A Jiemian News reporter visited Missfresh in Beijing and saw many employees packing up. The employees said they were told a day before to start working from home. Some suppliers were there claiming Missfresh owed them money.

Shares in Missfresh plummeted 39 percent on Thursday in pre-market trading, to US$0.144. The company is expected to have lost up to 3.7 billion yuan in 2021.

Missfresh had warehouse sites in 13 cities in China but closed 9 within the first 3 days of July.