Chinese Lifestyle Sharing Platform Xiaohongshu Responds to Layoff Rumors

Recently, reports of layoffs at China’s leading technology firms have frequently emerged on domestic social media platforms. On Thursday afternoon, lifestyle sharing site Xiaohongshu was reported to be implementing major staff cuts, causing a heated discussion.

According to domestic media outlet Sina Tech, many Xiaohongshu employees broke the news on Maimai, a professional online networking platform, that they had suddenly been informed of their nonnegotiable last day of work. The compensation method for layoffs is “N+1” severance payment, but the laid-off employees are barred from the company’s year-end bonus. Xiaohongshu usually issues merit and performance-based year-end bonuses at the end of April every year.

Some employees of Xiaohongshu revealed that the overall layoffs were 20%, and that all departments were affected, with more fresh graduates and probationary employees affected. In terms of regions, the layoffs have affected employees at the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai branches.

However, some also say that the staff cuts represent normal team optimization, or elimination of the least competent employees. After this, the company will start recruitment, but the volume will not be large. One job seeker revealed that they had passed the interview, but was then told that there was no headcount, while another job seeker said that a few days ago, they had received a recruitment call from a Xiaohongshu headhunter.

The platform also responded on Thursday that normal HR optimizations are part of its performance review process, impacting less than 10% of its workforce.

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Since the beginning of this year, many reports have emerged that Xiaohongshu has adjusted its organizational structure. Earlier, it was reported that the original community department and e-commerce department would be merged into a new unit.

Xiaohongshu is in the stage of preparing for a public listing, which has been a closely-followed topic. In October of last year, it was reported that Xiaohongshu was considering changing its listing location from the U.S. to Hong Kong, conducting a Hong Kong IPO with a scale of at least $500 million. Regarding this matter, Xiaohongshu responded that it has no clear IPO plan.