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Trump victory fallout? EBay laying off staff at Bengaluru

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10 November 2016

Online marketplace eBay is laying off staff in Bengaluru and taking back work to Silicon Valley. The decision came on Wednesday as Donald Trump got elected as the 45th President of United States on promise of bringing back jobs home.

Calling it a part of a global restructuring, eBay says it has cut jobs at its centre in Bengaluru in favour of shifting them to other locations around the world. The layoffs will affect only those people working in its global product team, while its analytics and India product support teams will be unaffected.

"As a normal course of business, eBay regularly reviews its operational structure and today we announced some changes to our global product and technology team. As a result, we are reducing our overall technology workforce in Bangalore and shifting work to other global centres around the world," said an eBay spokesperson.

While eBay did not quantify the exact number of employees affected by the layoff, reports say said that 30 per cent of the Bengaluru development centre's workforce had been cut.

Trump during his campaign had chided technology firms such as IBM that outsourced to countries such as India and warned that he would impose 35 per cent additional tax on such firms.

The move also aligns with the trend of technology companies moving their product development teams closer to their headquarters for better control, said analysts.

"Globally, technology firms want product development closer to the HQ. Twitter also did the same recently," Sanchit Gogia, chief analyst and chief executive of research firm Greyhound Research, told Business Standard.

In September, microblogging platform Twitter shut its local development centre in Bengaluru laying off 20 professionals as the company consolidated its technical team on the back of weak business performance.

Last week, Twitter, which is struggling to grow revenue in India, saw its key Asia-Pacific and India executives leave the company. Both Parminder Singh, the India head and Rishi Jaitly, the Asia Pacific head quit without citing reasons. Twitter's acquisition of local technology firm Zipdial was said to be a failure and that had raised concerns at the company.

The eBay spokesperson added that the company will continue doing business in India as before and that the layoffs were not indicative of any change there.

Last year eBay had cut around 350 jobs from its Bengaluru and Chennai development centres after the company split its payment division PayPal from itself.

In India, eBay has been relegated to the sidelines of online commerce with giants such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal controlling nearly 85 per cent of the market. The company has indicated that it will revamp its offering to customers, targeting millennials and smaller sellers who might not have the appetite to win on large marketplaces.

 





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