Recently, many Chinese media outlets reported that all fresh graduates of Ohayoo, a game platform owned by ByteDance, were laid off. According to a person close to ByteDance’s game business, Ohayoo has adjusted 79 people’s posts, including 30 fresh graduates.
According to 21st Century Business Herald, a user from Chinese Q&A platform Zhihu issued a message on Tuesday afternoon, saying that he was a fresh graduate employee from ByteDance, and had just been laid off in the technology R&D department. The user mentioned that 20 or 30 fresh graduates in his department were laid off. Another Zhihu user who has been a member of Bytedance’s game department for three months also said that he was suddenly fired after the National Day Festival due to a failed examination in the probation period.
Ohayoo, established in 2019, is a casual game platform owned by Chinese internet services and technology firm ByteDance. After Xu Peixiang, the head of Ohayoo, left for personal reasons in August this year, the original departments like business, market, and products were merged into the distribution department.
As of October this year, the platform has launched more than 150 games, with over 80 million monthly active users and over 500 million downloads.
An employee of the game-related department in ByteDance said that the layoffs in the game business line were largely due to the limited game copyrights, and the company wanted to avoid losses. Since August this year, the regulatory policies governing China’s game industry have been continuously tightened, and the approval of online game copyrights has also stopped.
According to a report released by a committee under the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association and China Game Industry Research Institute, the actual sales revenue from the domestic online casual game market reached 16.951 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) in the first half of 2021, a year-on-year increase of 8.57%.
Recently, ByteDance’s layoffs have become more frequent. Earlier, Pandaily reported that the firm has continuously adjusted the organization structure and business scope of its commercialization team, and many team members were laid off this month. A head of ByteDance’s HR Department admitted the layoffs and said it was a normal business adjustment.
As early as August this year, there was a round of layoffs in ByteDance’s education business. At that time, ByteDance’s Dali Education planned to lay off some of its employees, while those that remain would switch to different products under the ByteDance umbrella.
An agent representing the commercial business of internet companies said that this year, advertising business within the games and education sectors has plummeted, which may be one of the reasons for the layoff of Bytedance’s commercial department. In addition, he mentioned that there are some new projects in the commercial sector, and once it is not profitable anymore, the sector will face the risk of layoffs.