Gionee will be cutting the jobs of no less than half of its headquarters employees, according to new reports from the company's home country. The development follows reports from late March that suggested massive job cuts and restructuring were underway at the Chinese firm. At that time, Gionee had reportedly already decided that some employees would be laid off but it wasn't immediately clear how widespread the cuts would be. The OEM has rated in China's top six manufacturers as recently as last year. Moreover, it has been considered by some to be a top global player in the Android segment thanks to its progress in emerging markets such as India. At the last unofficial count, Gionee employed 8,000 people, so the newly reported cuts presumably won't be light by any stretch of the imagination.
Workers will be receiving compensation when they are cut but with rumors also circulating about the reasons for the restructuring and layoffs, that may not come as much consolation. It has been speculated that CEO Liu Lirong's gambling problems have resulted in the company being unable to meet its end of obligations. Specifically, those would have been financial obligations to its advertisers and suppliers, with reports also claiming the company has been in litigation processes over its debts. It is reportedly hoped that by downsizing its business, it will have enough funding to move forward with plans for its devices outside of China. However, the firm also notably missed all of the major industry trade shows held so far this year, including CES and MWC.
The majority of the suggested reasons that the layoffs are needed, if not all of them, are mostly just speculative at this point. Although the CEO previously confirmed problems with the company's finances stemming from excessive expenditures, there hasn't been any confirmation he's personally responsible for that state of affairs. Regardless, these are serious and substantial cuts for a company that had been considered among the world's most promising phone makers not too long ago. Though the layoffs could ultimately work to help Gionee regain operability, there are no guarantees they won't affect its existing market position as well.