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Report: TikTok owner ByteDance downsizing game business in China

Layoffs have reportedly been made at two of the company's China-based studios.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 6, 2022

1 Min Read
The ByteDance HQ

TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly downsizing its video game business in a move that has resulted in hundreds of layoffs.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Beijing-based company has laid off or transferred the majority of workers from its Wushuang Studio in Shanghai, with that move coming just months after the closure of its 101 Studio in June. ByteDance has also reportedly cut jobs at its Jiangnan Studio in Hangzhou.

The SCMP claims to have spoken with people familiar with ByteDance's plans, who said that while the gaming business will remain operational in order to support certain products, significant cuts are being made.

If the report is accurate, it'd be a notable change in direction for a company that was recently spending big to expand its video game business, purchasing studios including Moonton Technology and C4 Games.

The Chinese video game market is facing a moment of regulatory upheaval, with officials in the region proposing new playtime and spending restrictions that will impact how young people can engage with games.

ByteDance declined to comment on the situation when contacted by SCMP.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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