The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, has announced the lay-offs of ‘hundreds of jobs’ due to aggressive China gaming ordinances.
After sinking many resources into their gaming sector for the past two years, ByteDance has decided to lay off many employees from their focus on gaming, due to the months long crackdown which disallowed new licenses for games from July 2021 until April 2022. Negative effects for game companies based in China have been a long time coming, considering the imperialistic curfew placed on online gaming, banning spending more than three hours a week for those under 18-years-old happening last August in 2021.
The South China Morning Post has released a report today detailing the ByteDance employment moves, detailing each individual sector that has been downsized. The Shanghai-based Wushuang Studio has received the brunt of the hit from the company’s moves, by transferring or letting go most of it’s employees. The screening process for game licenses is mentioned as loaded with scrutiny for all content a game can carry “from a story’s plot to a character’s costume,” the report also mentions.
The new head of ByteDance, Liang Rubo who recently took over from Zhang Yiming has referred to the brazen move as “adding muscle and reducing fat.” Although the gaming sector has received massive cuts, the company will continue to commit to already developed projects, but will not start on any new developments. The company has recently reported billions in revenue according to Bloomberg.
Due to the mega profitable company not being publicly listed/traded, ByteDance has no requirement to disclose how many have been affected by this downsizing, although the report lists lay offs in ‘the hundreds.’
What’s noteworthy about these moves, is that China remains the largest market for esports, despite the curfew of three hours a week imposed on online gaming, and other China based gaming companies are doubling down on gaming moves, such as Tencent Group snagging up a thick percentage of FromSoftware last week.
Further developments will surely follow the downsizing.