Three Xiaomi executives to step down as smartphone demand weakens


Three high executives, together with President Wang Xiang, are to step down at Xiaomi, as China’s largest smartphone maker battles a success to gross sales and income from the nation’s Covid-19 disruption.

Lu Weibing, who joined the corporate three years in the past to lead its Redmi sub-brand, will substitute Wang as president. Two co-founders, Hong Feng and Wang Chuan, will step down from day by day operations, in accordance to a word despatched to workers by its chair Lei Jun and seen by the Financial Times. The transfer leaves Lei as the one co-founder left standing with an operational position within the firm.

“Xiaomi achieved a smooth handover of the baton iteration,” mentioned Lei within the inner letter, including that the corporate is “currently facing many difficulties” however will additional enhance operational effectivity.

The reshuffle got here on the finish of a bruising 12 months for China’s tech sector, which has been reeling from a regulatory clampdown and the results of Covid. Xiaomi has reported three consecutive quarters of falling revenues and income.

The third-largest handset maker globally, behind Apple and Samsung, additionally started to shed 10 per cent of its workforce this week in a number of departments, together with the flagship smartphone enterprise.

Li Chengdong, founding father of Dolphin, a Beijing-based consultancy, mentioned the timing of Xiaomi’s lay-offs was stunning — coming simply as China loosened its zero-Covid coverage and forward of the lunar new 12 months interval.

“Xiaomi’s fourth-quarter results could be worse than expected,” he mentioned, including that the group would hearth such a “large” variety of workers provided that there was an pressing want to “control costs”. 

Analysts on the market intelligence supplier TrendForce predicted that Xiaomi would lose market share in world smartphone gross sales within the three months to December, as China’s financial outlook for 2022 darkened and amid falling gross sales in India, which has lengthy been an necessary progress market and the place it faces regulatory pressures.

Xiaomi mentioned the job cuts had been a part of “routine personnel optimisation and organisational streamlining”. It added that “less than 10 per cent of the total workforce” could be affected and it could be “compensated in compliance with local regulations”. 

The Beijing-based group’s income declined 9.7 per cent to $9.8bn within the three months to September, in contrast with the identical interval in 2021, after gross sales had been hit by softening world demand for smartphones and weak client spending in China. The group’s internet revenue plunged practically 60 per cent in the identical interval.

Xiaomi revealed an funding of Rmb10bn ($1.43bn) in electrical automobile manufacturing final 12 months had contributed to rising analysis and growth prices, whereas the corporate had but to receive a licence from regulators for such vehicles.

Its troubles have been mirrored in job cuts at different tech firms, together with Tencent. At an end-of-year assembly with workers final week, Tencent founder and chief government Pony Ma hinted the corporate might need to minimize underperforming enterprise models, in accordance to Tencent employees current.

“It was the first time in years that Pony pointed out what a difficult position Tencent is in,” mentioned a senior programmer who attended the net assembly. “Tencent’s recent lay-offs might not solve the problems. The direction is unclear.”

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