An industry source revealed on February 17 that Jike, the search engine operated by People's Daily, made an internal announcement regarding employee layoff plans before last week's Chinese New Year holiday. Jike will rank its more than 500 employees according to their performance, and will ultimately lay off between 5% and 10% of its staff. A source inside Jike confirmed that the company had begun work on layoff plans in late 2012, and could make an announcement by the end of February 2013 — but said that only around 50 people, at most, would be affected.
Jike has reportedly spent nearly RMB 2 bln since it was first established, a figure confirmed by a source who added that 80% of Jike employees are engineers at present, far outweighing the number of employees engaged in sales, marketing, product development, or client services and leading to shortcomings in the company's execution. The source added that Jike is under pressure to become profitable.