SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expects to avoid layoffs this year despite China’s economic slowdown, CEO Daniel Zhang said on Friday.
The comments contradict Chinese media reports and market speculation about job cuts and a pull-back for China’s internet sector amid weakening domestic demand and an prolonged trade dispute with the United States.
“This year we not only won’t layoff employees, we will continue to utilize the resources on our platforms to boost consumption, bringing in more manufacturing and services orders,” Zhang said in a Weibo post.
“When the economy is bad, the biggest advantage for online platforms is to create jobs.”
This week reports circulated in Chinese media that e-commerce site and Alibaba rival JD.com Inc would lay off 10 percent of its senior executives. The company declined to comment directly on the cuts.
Days earlier, the CEO of ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing said it would lay off 15 percent of its employees, though he added that it intended to add as many jobs in new roles.
Just before Chinese New Year, social media firm ByteDance advised staff they would receive lower-than-expected holiday bonuses.
In November, Alibaba cut its full-year revenue forecast to between 375 billion yuan and 383 billion yuan ($54.4 bln-$55.6 bln), marking a 4-6 percent decrease from its initial target.
The company announces its earnings for the fiscal year in May.