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Roblox China trims its workforce after two years of inactivity

Roblox China lays off 15 employees after nearly two years of paused services but remains committed to the Chinese market. The layoffs are part of a larger shift in the company's strategy.

After nearly two years of silence following a pause in its services, Roblox China has finally made headlines again. The giant, in a joint venture with , recently laid off part of its workforce.

Layoffs in both the US and China

TechCrunch reported that Roblox initiated the layoffs in October. Confirming this, a spokesperson for Roblox stated that 15 positions were affected from both the company's teams in the US and its Shenzhen headquarters. This move was part of an “evaluation of the operational structure in support of LuoBu,” the company's localised platform in China. The affected employees have been informed, and the layoffs are specific to the unique business and operational needs of LuoBu. No other teams within Roblox were impacted by this action.

Shift in focus from expansion to bottom line

The layoffs come shortly after Roblox made significant cuts to its talent acquisition team, signalling a change in its strategy. Instead of focusing on expansion, Roblox is now paying more attention to its financial health. According to a listing on Boss Zhipin, a major recruiting site in China, Roblox China employs between 100 and 499 people.

Challenges of operating in China

In 2019, Roblox and Tencent formed a joint venture to develop a localised version of Roblox's gaming platform. Unusually, Roblox was granted a 51% controlling stake, a rarity for foreign companies operating in China. The primary obstacle in running a platform like Roblox in China is complying with the country's censorship and data regulations. When LuoBu, the localised version of Roblox, paused its services in December 2021, users aware of the regulatory landscape were not particularly surprised.

Despite these challenges and the recent layoffs, Roblox has no plans to abandon the Chinese market. A company spokesperson commented, “We remain committed to our long-term vision and plan for the LuoBu platform in China.”

Roblox is not alone in facing challenges in China. Blizzard Activision also started to scale back its operations in the country after its 14-year license with local partner NetEase expired in January. The California-based gaming publisher is searching for a new publishing partner in China.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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