Web users have broken the news on Chinese social media platforms that Autohome, an online service platform for auto consumers, laid off more than 600 staff members, accounting for nearly 10%-20% of the firm’s total. Autohome responded that the layoffs are a normal organizational adjustment and optimization, and that no more than 5% staff were reduced, refuting various online claims.
Caijing Magazine has learned from several sources that most layoffs were issued to commercial promotion personnel in the emerging businesses department, apart from performance appraisal personnel. Autohome hopes to centralize commercial promotion after these adjustments. The cutbacks are intended to reduce the impact of commercialization on the user experience, and to integrate and enhance the product competitiveness of OEMs and distributors.
Behind the personnel adjustments, Autohome is reconstructing its organizational system based on new strategy and business. In January this year, Lu Min, then chairman of the board of directors for about four years, retired. Long Quan, an executive in Ping An Insurance (Group) Company, took over. In May this year, co-president Zhang Jingyu resigned for personal reasons, and later in July, CFO Zou Wei also resigned for personal reasons. In October, CTO Wang Xiao and member of the board of directors Dong Liu resigned for personal reasons successively.
Also in October, Yang Song, former deputy general manager of Ford China’s Passenger Car Division, joined Autohome as vice president and general manager of the main engine factory division. Yang was fully responsible for the main engine factory business. In November, Wu Jiang, former general manager of video business of Internet service system of OPPO, joined the company as senior vice president. Since then, Wu Jiang heads the C-side business of Autohome.
Autohome is the world’s largest automobile consumption and service website, with more than 43 million DAU and more than 400,000 daily sales leads. It was listed on the main board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March this year, as the fourth Chinese internet company of concepts stock listed in both Hong Kong and the US, after Alibaba, JD and NetEase.
Autohome‘s report for Q3 of fiscal year 2021 suggests the net revenue was 1,763.8 million yuan, down by 23.8% year-on-year. The net profit attributable to itself was 522 million yuan, down by 38.4% year-on-year. Its net revenue and net profit declined again after Q2 of fiscal year 2021.