Chinese Virus Causes Mass Layoffs at Yelp, Eventbrite

The Facebook campus in Silicon Valley would be transformed into a "village" with housing and retail shops under a plan unveiled by the leading social network
JOSH EDELSON/AFP

Mass layoffs at Silicon Valley tech firms such as Yelp and Eventbrite are beginning to show how the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic is affecting Silicon Valley.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Chinese virus pandemic is beginning to affect the tech industry in Silicon Valley. It was recently announced that food review app Yelp would be laying off 1,000 workers and furloughing 1,100 more, amounting to approximately one-third of its staff. Event ticketing service Eventbrite has laid off 450 employees, approximately half of its workforce.

Airbnb planned to go public this year and raised $1 billion this week, but bookings have plunged worldwide as travel is restricted due to the pandemic. The firm has since enacted a hiring freeze for most jobs and paused marketing in an effort to save $800 million this year. The three companies are in industries most likely to be negatively affected by the virus, retail, restaurants and travel. In comparison, companies such as Salesforce and Google are hiring rapidly and donating millions of dollars in aid.

Breitbart News reported this week that Airbnb is among the Silicon Valley darlings facing a “reality check” due to the Chinese virus.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in an internal company email Thursday: “Yelp connects people with these great local businesses, and as their worlds have been turned upside down, these businesses are understandably forced to pause or reduce spending on the products and services that Yelp provides. To help Yelp get through this period of great uncertainty, we have had to make some incredibly hard decisions to reduce our operating costs.”

Yelp expects to spend between $8 and $10 million on severance and furloughing costs, executives are taking a 30 percent pay cut as a result and Stoppelman will not receive a salary whatsoever this year.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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