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Tencent lays off nearly all staff at its Fanbyte gambling site • londonbusinessblog.com

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The first rule when taking layoffs is not to be a jerk about it. The second rule is to make sure the social media manager you just fired still doesn’t have access to your accounts. Today, Tencent has violated both rules by firing nearly all editors of Fanbyte, an online gaming publication.

Tencent is the world largest gaming company and the most valuable company in China, with a stake in dozens of international game studios and gaming companies: Riot Games, Epic Games, Roblox, Discord, Pocket Gems, you name it. Tencent also owns WeChat, the Chinese social media super app, and Tencent Music.

Tencent has resigned approximately after posting its first-ever sales decline in the past quarter 5% of its workforce, which affects 5,000 people. But a month later, it seems that Tencent is still cutting back.

I have some sympathy for burgeoning startups navigating a challenging market and making the arduous decision to cut jobs — but Tencent is a mega-corporation that more than deserved $88 billion in revenue last year. Sure, the valuation has fallen after reaching almost a year unfathomable $1 trillion last year. But is firing some writers really the answer to these problems?

According to tweets from Merritt KOne of Fanbyte’s last remaining employees, the layoffs included the site’s editor-in-chief, chief media officer, editor-in-chief, social editor, news editor, graphic designer, podcast producer, and several writers.

Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the layoffs.

As promised, these layoffs were handled so horribly that Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is almost looking good. Fanbyte employees were slowly fired one by one over the course of several hours. There’s nothing like sitting alone in your apartment, waiting to find out if you still have a job, watching your coworkers tweet that they’re looking for a new job.

One tiny silver lining, however, was that the social media manager was fired while she still had access to the Fanbyte social media accounts. She actually gave Tencent the middle finger, and after years of watching writers I love lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control, I live for it.

For several hours, the Fanbyte Instagram bio reads: “Tencent made $35 billion in net income last year and fired nearly every member of children’s company Fanbyte! Support the workforce elsewhere :)” The account currently has the display name, “Forgot keys? ”

Ah, sweet revenge. You know what would be even sweeter? If the biggest media companies in the world stopped stripping good publications to save a few hundred thousand dollars a year, which is only a fraction of a fraction of a percent of their net income anyway.


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