Alibaba energetically denies, then repackages, mass sackings

Aliyun adjusts personnel every year in May. Sacking of 7 percent of staff is nothing out of the ordinary and should not be “misinterpreted.”

Photo by Kuang Da

Photo by Kuang Da



Alibaba is planning to recruit 15,000 new staff this year, including over 3,000 fresh graduates. The statement came in response to rumors that the company is preparing for layoffs.

Rumors began on the anonymous social media platform Maimai. Some claimed as many as 25,000 would be gone. Aliyun, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba, would sack 7 percent of all employees while Taobao Tmall will let 25 percent of staff go.

Aliyun later seemed to confirm the rumors, even if wrapping them firmly in cotton wool. The cloud provider adjusts personnel every year in May.

Sacking 7 percent of staff should not be misinterpreted, it’s just another routine activity, the company said.

In another statement, Alibaba said the dismissals were normal.  Alibaba is forever trying new things, some old staff will have to go, and some new ones will join in.

On March 28, Alibaba split its businesses into independent six divisions, three of which have already planned IPOs - Aliyun, Cainiao and Hema Fresh. Earlier, the whole autonomous-driving team of Alibaba was disbanded, with about two-thirds of the fired.

Most of the employees are well aware of the “adjustments.” A member of Aliyun staff was “not surprised to see the rumors online.”

In order to maintain its massive profits, Alibaba has been lowering costs by wielding the axe.

At the end of 2021, the group had 260,000 staff, but by the end of March this year, the number was down to 235,000. That’s roughly 5,000 trimmings per quarter, around 2 percent.