(Yicai Global) May 11 -- KE Holdings, whose stock debuted in Hong Kong today, is reportedly halving its staff numbers in a new round of redundancies at China’s biggest real estate agency.
KE will let go 50 percent of its employees, with the extent of the layoffs ranging from 30 percent to 70 percent depending on the division involved, tech-focused Phoenix News reported today, citing information KE staff disclosed on career’s site Maimai. They said the redundancies are codenamed ‘Project Resurrection.’
KE, also known as Beike Zhaofang, reported a net loss of CNY526 million (USD82 million) for last year, compared with a net profit of CNY2.8 million (USD413,592) in 2020. Revenue rose 15 percent to CNY80.8 billion (USD12.7 billion).
The company’s latest round of layoffs will involve the industrial research, operations, and core functional teams, with personnel changes at various divisions, an insider at Beijing-based KE told The Paper.
KE is giving the affected staff two options, an employee who quit told The Paper. For those who do not want to leave the realtor, it is offering the possibility of an internal transfer. For those who decide to go, it is offering a redundancy package based on the ‘N+1’ formula, where ’N’ represents a month’s salary for each year worked.
Last October, KE cut more than 300,000 front-line property agents and about 2,000 other team members. In March, it unveiled another round of layoffs at its new and lived-in apartment services divisions in response to market conditions and its own development needs. KE said it would offer staff transfers to other new and expansing businesses such as rentals and home decoration. That round was reported to have involved about 10 percent of the firm’s workforce.
The company’s shares started trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange this morning, making KE the second US-listed Chinese firm to carry out a dual primary listing by way of introduction. The move followed the addition of KE on April 22 to a list of firms at risk of being delisted from US exchanges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Its Hong Kong-listed stock [HKG: 2423] gained 4 percent to close at HKD30.75 (USD3.92), after jumping as much as 8.2% earlier in the day. In pre-market trading in New York, KE [NYSE: BEKE] was up 2 percent at USD12.07 as of 5.26 a.m. local time. It climbed 4 percent yesterday.
Editor: Futura Costaglione