Since the end of last year, several Internet giants have been the center of rumors about layoffs. Technology Daily reported on Wednesday that Alibaba’s DAMO Academy has gone ahead with a plan to cut a third of its workforce.
On October 11, 2017, Alibaba officially announced the establishment of DAMO Academy with which the company planned to invest more than 100 billion yuan ($15.6 billion) in basic science and disruptive technological innovation research over the next three years.
According to DAMO Academy’s official website, over the next two decades, Alibaba Group’s goal is to become the world’s fifth-largest economy by creating 100 million jobs worldwide, serving 2 billion people, and maintaining a profitable platform for 10 million companies. However, achieving these goals and serving the global economy requires solving countless challenges. The Alibaba DAMO Academy was founded to address these challenges through the philosophy of “research for solving problems with profit and fun”.
The Academy’s central focus is exploring the unknown through scientific and technological research and innovation. The driving force behind the Academy was the pursuit of the betterment of humanity for which the Academy researches a wide range of fields and plays host to experimental research in its laboratories. Research includes quantum computing, machine learning, basic algorithms, network security, visual computing, natural language processing, natural human computer interaction, chip technology and others. These areas are attracting a lot of attention these days and are seeing substantial investment from interested parties.
Although Alibaba‘s stock has dropped significantly over the last two years, the company has made efforts to reduce costs and increase its overall efficiency. According to the company’s latest financial report, 86% of revenue was provided by its e-commerce business, 9% from Alibaba Cloud, 4% from Alibaba Cultural Entertainment, and only 1% from high-tech areas including the DAMO Academy.
In the past six months, several experts have left DAMO Academy. In November 2021, Qi Yuan, former vice president of Ant Group and chief scientist of Ant Group’s AI division, joined Fudan University. In January 2022, Wang Gang, vice president of Alibaba and director of Autonomous Driving Lab in Alibaba DAMO Academy, also left the job.