July 5, 2024
1 min read

TikTok’s Indonesian Layoffs: How Many Tokopedia Employees Were Affected?

Last Friday, ByteDance’s TikTok e-commerce division in Indonesia and local platform Tokopedia executed a significant round of layoffs, with estimates ranging from several hundred to over a thousand employees. Bloomberg’s figure of 450 appears to be the most credible. This move comes amid speculation about integrating TikTok e-commerce and Tokopedia following their merger.

Major Restructuring

Earlier this month, the famous Indonesian Instagram account Ecommurz revealed that after internal evaluations, TikTok determined that 80% of Tokopedia’s products and services should be cut, and 70% of its current employees were deemed “redundant and unnecessary.” Tokopedia’s latest regulatory filings indicate a workforce of 2,772. According to Bloomberg, TikTok Shop Indonesia and Tokopedia jointly employ around 5,000 people. Thus, a layoff of 450 would impact approximately 9% of the total workforce. Additional rounds of layoffs are rumoured to continue through the end of the year. Reports suggest the severance packages are “extremely generous.”

Affected Services

Services impacted include:

  • Meta CPAS Collaborative Advertising: To be replaced by ByteDance’s system.
  • TokoNow Fresh Grocery Instant Delivery: Inventory will be liquidated.
  • Tokopedia Logistics Warehouse Management System: To be replaced by ByteDance’s system.
  • Tokopedia’s Seller System: Scheduled to transition to TikTok’s seller system by year-end.

Industry Impact

Comments on social media reflect a sense of disillusionment with Indonesia’s domestic tech giants. The e-commerce market has narrowed to competition between TikTok and Shopee, both foreign entities, while local companies like Gojek in the ride-hailing and food delivery sectors lag behind foreign competitors like Grab. There are even rumours of renewed merger talks between Grab and Gojek, and ByteDance is considering acquiring another local tech firm.

Political Landscape

Indonesia is in a post-election phase, with various political factions vying for influence before the new cabinet takes office in October. Amid this political jockeying, the government’s attention appears diverted from the e-commerce sector’s turmoil.

Employee Communication

Here’s a translated excerpt from the notification emails received by affected Tokopedia employees:

“This is a difficult message to convey. To improve operational efficiency, we identified areas needing better integration, particularly as we merge the Tokopedia and TikTok teams. Consequently, we must make tough decisions to implement an internal restructuring plan to enhance efficiency. Ultimately, this will enable us to serve our users more effectively through streamlined processes. While necessary, I’d like to let you know that this restructuring will impact your position. Our priority is to provide you with all the support you need during this transition. This decision was not made lightly. We appreciate your contributions to the company. Your daily efforts have been crucial in supporting our sellers, users, and partners, helping them thrive on our platform. I appreciate your dedication during your time at Tokopedia. We will arrange a 2:1 meeting with your leadership and HRBP to discuss the company’s support and assistance further.”

What do you think about this restructuring? Do you believe it will benefit TikTok and Tokopedia in the long run? Could you share your insights in the comments below?

Joe Zhang

Independent Consultant. 2X Founder and Contributor. Based in Shenzhen, China.

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Joe Zhang

Independent Consultant. 2X Founder and Contributor. Based in Shenzhen, China.


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