Bilibili Denies Layoffs as it Cuts Costs and Increases Efficiency

Shanghai-based video streaming platform Bilibili recently launched a round of systematic cost reductions and moves to shore up efficiency, which is expected to save the company more than 2 billion yuan ($13.9 billion). Specific measures include staff cuts and reduction of business input, LatePost reported on December 5. Regarding the matter, a Bilibili spokesperson acknowledged that some businesses have been adjusted recently, along with various personnel adjustments, but denied any large-scale layoffs.

Bilibili‘s CEO Chen Rui told analysts during a telephone conference for the third-quarter financial report last month that reducing losses has become one of the most important tasks of the company. Next, it will reduce investment in non-core business and concentrate resources on businesses with higher liquidity rates. This adjustment will be completed within this year, and the effect will be seen in the first quarter of next year.

In the third quarter, Bilibili achieved revenue of 5.793 billion yuan, with a growth rate of 11.3%. The loss narrowed to 1.7 billion yuan, down 36% year-on-year. Bilibili said that with the improvement of operational efficiency and the control of expenses, the net loss will continue to be reduced in the future.

Also in the third quarter, revenue from mobile games for Bilibili reached 1.5 billion yuan, an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2021, accounting for 26% of the total revenue. At the beginning of November, an internal letter showed that Chen would personally listen to the report of the game business, which was a major reason for the recovery of performance. “Video and games are the core business of Bilibili. Many livestreams and videos are related to games. The animation and comics also have strong synergy with games,” Chen said during the telephone conference.

In the first half of 2022, Bilibili‘s self-developed game “Artery Gear” was released overseas, and its self-developed game revenue accounted for 5% of the total game revenue. Two games by Bilibili have obtained regulatory approval so far, which are planned to be launched in China, and many games are in the final authorization stage. Bilibili said that it is expected to release a number of self-developed new games with an ACG theme in China and abroad next year.

In the third quarter, the firm’s value-added service business contributed the most to Bilibili‘s revenue, with the figure increasing by 16% year-on-year to 2.2 billion yuan. The reason for the increase was that Bilibili strengthened its commercialization capacity building, and the number of monthly payment users in Bilibili reached 28.5 million, a record high.

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However, livestream e-commerce on Bilibili is still far inferior to that of Douyin, Kuaishou and Taobao. The main revenue from Bilibili‘s livestreaming is still the hosts’ rewards from the audience. In the first half of 2022, the revenue of self-operated e-commerce and other businesses of Bilibili was only 1.204 billion yuan, far less than Kuaishou’s 366.749 billion yuan and Douyin’s 700 billion yuan.