China Internet Bubble Sees Vancl Dressing Down 中国互联网泡沫见证凡客裁员

It seems that group buying Internet site Gaopeng isn’t the only one laying off staff as China’s Internet bubble shows early signs of bursting. In the latest indication of trouble, Chinese media are reporting that Vancl, the high-flying online clothing seller, is in the process of cutting 5 percent of its workforce as management tries to “right-size” the company in the run-up to a probable fourth-quarter IPO. (Chinese article) Vancl’s CEO was understandably unwilling to comment on the reports, which cited a number of leaked company e-mails and word of mouth from lower-level company employees. But the reports seem to be credible, and would certainly not be surprising following similar signs of distress from Gaopeng, the Groupon and Tencent (HKEx: 700) invested group buying site now laying off big chunks of its staff, as well as social networking site and IPO candidate Kaixin, which last month warned that the days of rapid Internet growth may be over. (previous post) I have to admit that Vancl’s layoffs did surprise me a little, as just last month I speculated that clothing sellers, due to their more niche-oriented position, may be more immune to the looming Internet bubble than more broadly-focused companies such as group buying sites like Gaopeng and general merchandise sellers like 360Buy. (previous post) But at the end of the day, the bottom line is that China’s Internet space has become way too crowded and overheated, with billions of dollars in new investment entering the market in the last year chasing consumer demand that, while growing, is still far too small to support all those new players. Look for more layoffs in the next few months, as many of the smaller, revenue-poor companies seek to delay their inevitable closure or sale to larger rivals.

Bottom line: Vancl’s recent layoff of 5 percent of its workforce marks the latest chapter in the early stages of a burst for China’s overinflated Internet bubble, with much more to come.



Related postings 相关文章:

Tax Evasion Report: Trouble Brewing in Group Buying? 团购被曝逃税 行业整顿或在即

360Buy Cuts Off Alipay As China Internet Froth Builds 京东停用支付宝印证中国互联网泡沫

Gaopeng, Kaixin Spotlight China Internet Turmoil 高朋网、开心网凸显中国互联网混乱现状


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