Renren, 'the Facebook of China', has been struggling a bit over the last few years as its users spend more time on hipper (and more mobile) services like Sina Weibo and WeChat. There were reports of layoffs at the company in December, and now similar reports have surfaced, with anonymous sources claiming massive cuts of up to 75 percent of the company's 3G department. That number comes from a "knowledgable" but anonymous source and, as usual, it should be taken with a grain of salt. But Renren spokespeople did admit to Sina Tech that some personnel adjustment was happening, characterizing it as being part of "an attempt at an internal startup mechanism [within Renren]," whatever that means. They also suggested that some of those laid off might be re-hired internally for work on more promising projects like Nuomi and Renren Games. (On a related note, Renren denied outright reports that there were also layoffs at Nuomi, saying that the team is actually in the process of expanding and that there have been no layoffs there). We've already seen Renren beginning to move away from traditional social networking and toward games and mobile apps, so it shouldn't be too surprising that a strategic shift of that magnitude would result in a little internal upheaval and personnel turnover. It seems there have been some layoffs, but I don't think it's time for Renren fans to panic just yet. (Sina Tech via TechWeb)
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