Chinese online services platform Meituan Dianping, which offers users everything from food delivery to spa vouchers, said that recent reports of large-scale job losses were untrue and that staff changes were just part of “normal operational restructuring.”
The Tencent-backed tech firm was allegedly slashing jobs from its content operations and R&D departments, Caixin says. Meituan denies this, however, and says that it has only cut less than 0.5% of its headcount, or around 250 people.
The rumours add to fears that China’s services sector is starting to cool, threatening millions of jobs and a pillar of China’s economic growth. November figures showed that retail spending growth is on a downward trend, and consumer sentiment is waning.
Meituan would not be the first company to make layoffs. Rival JD.com has reportedly also started cutting staff following a rape scandal implicating the company’s CEO. Social media discussion site Zhihu, similar to Quora in the US, has also shed over half of its workforce.