Disney layoffs extend to streaming jobs in China: report

The cuts are part of CEO Robert Iger's plan to cut costs by $5.5 billion and reduce headcount by 7,000

The first round of layoffs at The Walt Disney Company were not just stateside, but extended to the Far East as well.

The entertainment giant has laid off more than 300 employees in Beijing who worked on its streaming services, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The cuts are part of a cost-cutting and restructuring plan that began this week and will involve the loss of 7,000 jobs.

The China layoffs focus on technology employees who were working in areas of Disney’s streaming services.

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Disney+ on a phone screen

Disney+ startscreen on mobile phone. Disney+ online video, content streaming subscription service.  (iStock / iStock)

Disney has made streaming a focal point of its business. 

Disney operates several streaming services including Disney+, which is available in much of the world except for mainland China, as well as ESPN+ and Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ Hotstar in Asia. 

At the end of 2022, Disney+ had 161.8 million subscribers, Hulu had 48 million; and ESPN+ had 24.9 million. 

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Shanghai Disney

Performers dressed as Disney characters are seen during the reopening of the Disneyland amusement park in Shanghai on May 11, 2020.  ( HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

The company has been under pressure to control costs and aims at reaching profitability for its streaming business by September 2024. 

The service has reportedly lost nearly $10 billion since its 2019 launch.

Robert Iger returned as Disney CEO in November after the removal of Bob Chapek.

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The company announced it would make $5.5 billion in budget cuts and reduce head count.