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.

中国互联网泡沫呈现初期破裂迹象,高朋网看来不是唯一一个裁员的团购网站。团购领域又现新麻烦,据中国媒体报导,服饰网络零售品牌凡客诚品正在裁员,规模大约有5%。管理层希望确保公司“合适规模”,以筹备四季度IPO计划。凡客CEO陈年不愿对裁员报导置评。相关文章主要引述了多封公司内部泄漏的邮件与公司低层员工的说法,内容看似可靠。美国团购网站Groupon与腾讯(0700.HK)联手投资的团购网站–高朋网之前已大举裁员,另外准备上市的社交网络开心网也在裁员。不得不承认,凡客裁员有些令我意外。因为就在上个月,我还估计相对于高朋、京东商城等市场定位宽泛的网站,服装零售商因为特殊市场定位,对于互联网泡沫的免疫力可能更好一些。但说到底,实际情况是中国互联网市场已经过于拥挤、投资过热,过去一年已经有数以十亿计美元新投资进入这一市场,押注中国网上购物需求将会大增。这一市场尽管在增长,但还是远远不够支撑那麽多新加入的企业。未来数月,随着很多低营收小企业竭力延迟关张或被对手吞食命运,应该还会出现更多企业跟着裁员。

一句话:凡客近来裁员5%,是中国过度膨胀的互联网泡沫初步破裂的最新事件,未来还会有更多企业跟进类似举措。

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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