Reuters reported on Aug.17 that Chinese dronemaker DJI was looking to “trim the fat on its roughly 14,000 staff,” including massive cuts to its global sales and marketing teams, due to repercussions stemming from a coronavirus-hit economy and accumulating political pressure.
The information was quoted by multiple media as soon as it was sent out, and was widely misinterpreted to mean that DJI was preparing to lay off 14,000 employees.
As the falsely cited information went viral on social media, DJI’s Public Relations Director Xie Tiandi shared a post to his WeChat moments on the same day, affirming that the layoff figure is not accurate.
“Considering that there are 14,000 people in DJI, there would be no one left after the layoff based on Reuters’ ‘claim,’” Xie said.
This year, rumors of DJI layoffs have persisted. In April, Pandaily reported on rumors regarding an apparent plan by DJI to lay off at least 50% of its staff, occurring as the company prohibited employees from entering the office area due to a work from home policy.
Xie replied that it was all “false and absurd speculation,” adding that fighting the pandemic was the top priority of the company.
At the time, a DJI employee disclosed to Chinese media outlet Jiemian that the company had indeed laid off employees recently in the sales and marketing departments, but the departments of procurement, R&D, and others were less affected. The employee added that the proportion of layoffs has not reached 50% of its workforce, as some news outlet claimed.
Jiemian reported that 80% of DJI’s sales are offline, and noted that because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used primarily in film, television, tourism, outdoor recreation, and other areas – all of which have been hit hard by the coronavirus-ravaged economy – the company has experienced a sharp drop in the demand for drones.
Jiemian also reported, citing a knowledgable source, that DJI’s sales of many UAV products have gradually increased, and demand for increasing the production of the drones has risen.