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Multinationals laying off employees in China, elsewhere

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2013-12-30
  • 08:53 (GMT+8)
A Nokia flagship store in Shanghai. (Photo/Xinhua)

A Nokia flagship store in Shanghai. (Photo/Xinhua)

International firms are now laying off or plan to let go of their workers globally amid a sluggish global economy, according to the Beijing-based Economic Observer.

A man, 52, going under the pseudonym Wang Jie, was one of the first employees at his multinational telecommunications equipment company to be let go two weeks ago. He understood the difficult situation his company was facing, but was still unable to accept the fact that he was fired after having worked with the firm since 1996.

Motorola slashed at least 700 from its workforce in China in 2012. Nokia plans to reduce its staff by about 10,000 by the end of 2013. It had laid off 40,000 employees two years ago, which was nearly half of its total staff strength.

Since June this year, IBM has let go of 6,000 to 8,000 workers at its companies around the world.

Some employees at IBM China's hardware department have also been affected. A person working with Hewlett-Packard's China division for many years was called into a meeting on Nov. 18, 2013 and told that his job contract would be terminated 20 minutes later.

The company's statistics showed that HP had terminated 17,800 workers in 2012 and planned on letting go of a total of 29,000 by the end of 2014.

It is not easy for these older Chinese workers to start a new career after leaving a company at which they have worked for years.

The report stated that multinational companies found Chinese workers to be inflexible, as these workers were unable to fully learn the entire process from planning to execution.

"In multinational firms, a worker merely knows how to do one thing and he or she cannot demonstrate his or her value at a certain level, which might be the major risk that most multinational companies face," a technician who left IBM to join a Chinese state-owned firm said.

Who's Who

  • Liu Yunshan (劉雲山)

    Liu Yunshan (劉雲山)

    Liu is first secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China and a newly elected member of the Politburo Standing Committee. ...