INTERNATIONAL – Alibaba Group is cutting its spending on travel and postponing some new hiring as China’s largest e-commerce company braces for a slowing economy, people familiar with the matter said.
Some new hires were told they can’t start until the new fiscal year begins in April, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. The travel cuts include restricting business class airfares on a unit-by-unit basis, with staff only able to select a premium cabin on every fifth round trip that takes more than 20 hours, one of the people said.
The trade war with the US is casting a bigger shadow over China, with Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma warning in September about the challenges facing the company and the local economy as tensions escalate.
The macro slowdown is hitting everything from hardware manufacturers to the world’s biggest startup Bytedance, which is said to have barely hit its revenue target for 2018.
New hire headcounts are shrinking, one person said. A candidate was told an offer would only be extended if they were prepared to wait until April, another person said.