KE Holdings, a Chinese real estate platform for housing transactions and services that will debut on the HKEx on Wednesday, is once again the subject of layoff rumors.
The company is rumored to have launched a new round of layoffs of about 50%. Several employees at the company had posted to social media that the layoffs are a part of the “Rebirth Plan”.
The layoffs are sparing no one as even pregnant women have been let go and are currently seeking legal help. However, the layoff ratio seems to reveal that the broker division has not been accounted for yet, and that the product R&D division was the main target.
This is not the first time that KE Holdings has been exposed for its large-scale layoffs. In October last year, it was reported that KE Holdings’ Shanghai division conducted a mass layoff. At that time, the company responded that “since 2021, the industry environment has changed significantly and the company was adjusting some of its financial businesses in Shanghai.
In March this year, KE Holdings was reported to have undergone a new round of layoffs, mainly involving the second-hand and new house trading service groups. The company responded that there was no overall optimization and adjustment plan. However, affected by epidemic prevention and control measures, the firm’s branches across the country needed to make dynamic organizational adjustments based on market conditions. Any changes in staffing have been done as a part of their own business development and have not been given any ratio or quantity requirements.
KE Holdings successfully landed on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2020 and its market value reached $ 43.1 billion on the day of its listing. This Monday, KE Holdings’ share price sat at .3 11.37 and the company held a market value of $ 13.713 billion. It is worth noting that several of KE Holdings’ strategic investors, including SoftBank Group, Hillhouse Capital and Sunac, have reduced their holdings.
The company’s financial report shows that in 2021, its net loss was 525 million yuan ($ 78 million), from profit to loss year-on-year. Its gross profit decreased from 16.9 billion yuan in 2020 to 15.8 billion yuan in 2021, down 6.2% year-on-year, while gross profit margin decreased from 23.9% in 2020 to 19.6% in 2021.
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According to its financial report, in the second quarter of 2021, the number of brokers of the company was 548,600, while it dropped to 454,500 in the fourth quarter, revealing that nearly 94,100 brokers left KE Holdings in the second half of 2021.