ByteDance Admits Downsizes to Commercialization Team

Chinese media outlet Huxiu reported on Tuesday that since the end of 2020, Chinese Internet giant ByteDance has continuously adjusted the organization structure and business scope of its commercialization team, and many team members were laid off this month. Also on Tuesday, a head of ByteDance’s HR Department admitted the layoffs and said it was a normal business adjustment.

According to staff feedback on a career and social-networking platform, many employees including fresh graduates were laid off. Some ByteDance employees posted a message on the app platform saying the company is adjusting its commercialization team, and “cuts all jobs in Wenzhou.” One ByteDance employee said that “the company lays off 30%-70% staff in each major direct sales center and call center.”

Huxiu reported that around the country’s recent National Day holiday, ByteDance canceled its Direct Sales Center in Luoyang, Henan Province. Then, on October 12, it shut down the local direct sales center in Wenzhou, the firm’s first instance of downsizing in Zhejiang province. Except for a dozen staff in the local life business team, retained to deal with problems arising from the job cuts, over 100 staff were asked to the leave their job within two days. It is estimated that by the end of October, the commercial team in Jinhua will also be laid off.

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The local direct sales center is a commercial organization set up by ByteDance in economically developed provinces and cities in the past few years. It is mainly responsible for the advertising sales of popular ByteDance apps such as local Douyin and Toutiao, and deals with local SMEs. Before this round of job cuts, ByteDance opened over 20 direct sales centers in North China, East China and South China. In addition to selling ads, the centers also undertake the function of trying out some ByteDance commercialization innovation businesses.

Domestic media outlet the Paper reports that according to information released on the career and social-networking platform, in addition to the commercialization team, ByteDance has also laid off staff from its education team, games and other business lines, as the employees indicated.