Reports have been circulating that Qihoo 360 is offering some of its employees a so-called ‘layoff exemption pass’ for the Chinese New Year.
CEO Zhou Hongyi posted a picture of the ‘pass’ to WeChat on January 8th. As stated on the pass, it is valid until December 31st 2020. Hongyi later said that the gift was of a humorous nature, and that the company was not in fact planning any layoffs. However, many are wondering if there’s more to the story.
With the next hearing for the Cayman Islands trial set for Q1 of 2020, a new judge stepping in to replace Ingrid Mangatal, and some negative articles in the Chinese media, many employees are concerned.
On WeChat, employees complained about the pass being valid only for 1 year, which they deemed too short. But in fact, Sina Tech explains that, from a legal perspective, the coupon will not be of much practical use. If a large company really wants to lay off employees, they’ll give them the boot with or without the coupon.
So, we are once again waiting for more developments in this saga. The next hearing in this court case will clear many of the questions surrounding Qihoo 360’s future; are investors pulling out? Has the share price been affected? And – as is clearly paramount to Qihoo’s employees – will there be mass layoffs? If so, it’s unlikely that this gift will do much good to its holder.