Tech Planet reported on Tuesday that the video department of Zhihu, a Q&A platform to be listed in Hong Kong, will lay off about 60% to 70% of its employees, while the division’s remaining staff will be transferred to the firm’s community or membership departments.
According to the report, Cai Lin, a video business executive, left the position in March this year. Before joining Zhihu around March of last year, Cai had worked at Renren.com, Alibaba, Tencent, and other major Chinese internet companies.
In addition, a former employee of Zhihu said that the company sent an internal email in February, announcing organizational structure adjustments. Zhihu‘s business has been divided into four main lines, and the video department and the product department will be merged into another first-level department. At the same time, the education sector has become a first-level department.
Zhihu responded to media outlet iFeng, affirming that video is an indispensable part of Zhihu‘s content ecology: “There is no layoff plan in the video business, and outstanding talent is welcome to join.”
It is worth noting that Zhihu officials have denied layoff rumors regarding the firm’s video department twice this year.
The news of layoffs within Zhihu‘s video department emerged as early as February. Some web users who claimed to be former employees of Zhihu said the company was laying off half of its employees in video-related departments in a low-key manner. At that time, Zhihu firmly denied the rumors.
Later, there were more rumors that Zhihu had given up on its video business, which was also denied by Zhihu. “Recruitment for video-related core business in Zhihu has been ongoing,” the company assured.
Zhihu launched a “video zone” on its app in June 2018. In 2019, a video-based answer portal went online to replace the original zone. In 2020, video became an independent segment on the app’s homepage. In 2021, Zhihu vigorously developed its video business, setting up a dedicated team with about 200 staff members.
During the past two years, Zhihu has achieved a certain amount of video content coverage in the app, but the price paid is the decreasing satisfaction of creators and users. Recently, Zhihu has been testing a new version of its app whereby the segment entitled “video” is replaced by “idea.”