Li Auto’s Layoffs Approach 10,000 as Employee Benefits and Perks Are Sequentially Cancelled

Earlier in May, reports emerged from Chinese media that Li Auto had conducted a significant round of layoffs, with approximately 18% of the workforce being affected. This amounted to about 5,600 employees. However, as per the latest information from Dianchechang on May 28, several of the employees who were let go have suggested that the situation is much worse than reported. They claim that the actual number of layoffs is close to a staggering 10,000.

Li Auto‘s representatives have confirmed a substantial reduction in their workforce. They disclosed that the total number of employees has fallen from its peak of over 30,000 to around 22,000 during this layoff period. The layoffs have been particularly severe in certain areas. The HR department, for instance, may have seen up to 60% of its staff let go. Similarly, the teams working on the parking project and the LIOS operating system may have experienced layoffs of up to 50%. The Li Auto AD Pro project team was reportedly almost entirely disbanded.

Moreover, some of the employees who were laid off have expressed dissatisfaction with the compensation they received. They argue that Li Auto has not adhered to relevant regulations regarding severance packages. For instance, the compensation for employees on probation was deemed insufficient. Additionally, employees felt that they should also receive a notice fee equivalent to one month’s salary. The company also decided to cash out unused annual leave at twice the rate, rather than the expected three times. An employee planning to take his paternity leave before the layoffs was advised by HR to carry over his unused leave to his next employer.

The report also suggested that Li Auto had anticipated potential backlash from the layoffs, leading to enhanced security measures at the company’s headquarters. One incident involved an employee who was denied entry into the Li Auto headquarters despite driving a pre-registered vehicle. The security guard insisted that all occupants of the car scan a Feishu QR code and verify their employment status before they could be granted access.

Furthermore, Li Auto has made changes to its benefits and expense policies. Starting from April, the company discontinued lunch subsidies and overtime dinners. The timing for eligibility for taxi fare reimbursement for those working overtime was also pushed back by an hour, and the areas eligible for reimbursement were further restricted. The company has also become stricter with office supply requests, limiting each employee to one pack of napkins per month and one monitor per coder. An employee involved in the intelligent driving business reported that a project planned for intensive development ahead of the Beijing Auto Show in late April was abruptly halted early in the month, leading to the dissolution of the development team and reassignment of staff to their local workplaces.

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