According to a report by LatePost on Wednesday, Dali Education, ByteDance’s education unit, has recently started job cuts in many brands including GuaGuaLong, Qingbei Wangxiao, Xuelang, Hardware and Campus Cooperation. Nearly two thousand people will be laid off this month. Following the close of this year’s online classes at the end of the year, more than one thousand tutors working in Qingbei Wangxiao may also be fired.
ByteDance’s last job cut was in August. Half of the 8,000 tutors in GuaGuaLong, an AI English learning app for children, were laid off. Since then, employees have continued to leave. The ByteDance education unit provided 15,000 jobs at the beginning of 2021, and once expanded. By November, there were fewer than 10,000 people.
The new round of layoffs were not sudden, and many employees said they had known the issue half a month ago. An employee of GuaGuaLong said that on November 15, the employees started to distribute the brand hobbies in the warehouse, such as T-shirts, water cups and dolls.
On the morning of November 22, the person in charge of GuaGuaLong informed staff of the layoffs at an internal meeting. Employees of Xuelang and GuaGuaLong are required to leave around November 25, and the company will give N+2 (working year + 2) monthly salaries as compensation.
The layoffs in August were mainly aimed at service-oriented positions including sales and tutors. R&D and operation were less affected. Now the core products business, operations and R&D teams of GuaGuaLong and Xuelang have also been affected.
None of the businesses involved in this round of layoffs have been directly affected by China’s recent regulation of the domestic education industry, dubbed the “Double Reduction” policy. Open Language offers English courses to adults. Xuelang provides a set of teaching tools for people with knowledge on TikTok, helps these talents make money and scale up to take a cut of their class fees.
Education hardware focuses on products such as Dali smart lamps and tablets. The target customers are students in primary and secondary schools. It doesn’t directly provide courses to these students, but provides services such as smart search and video recording. Campus cooperation provides technical assistance to public schools through big data and AI.
On November 2, Liang Rubo, CEO of ByteDance, issued an internal letter dividing ByteDance business into six units, among which the education unit is split into four subunits: smart learning, vocational education, education hardware and campus cooperation. This layoff shows that except for smart learning, the teams in the other three subunits will be reduced.
A ByteDance mid-level employee working in Hardware said that the layoffs were not only due to the influence of the policies, but the whole company reduced expenses in the face of slowing revenue growth.