On the evening of June 24, Chinese EV startup CEO Daniel Kirchert announced in an email to all employees in the North American office that layoffs would be made in the U.S. by June 30.
The email indicates that the U.S. office will retain employees in R&D-related intellectual property and operations positions, a core group of employees who have received separate notification from the divisional vice president.
Recently, Byton has been caught up in rumors of unpaid wages, and some media quoted sources with knowledge of the situation as saying that Byton currently owes about 100 million yuan (four months' wages) to its Chinese employees, and that Byton pays its Chinese employees on the 5th of each month.
At the end of last year, it was said that Byton's Series C round of financing is in the final stage and some of the funds have already arrived.
But from the current situation, the above financing may not be in place. This, coupled with the new crown epidemic sweeping the world, also casts a shadow over Byton's future.
Here is the full email:
As I write to you, halfway through 2020, our company is still recovering from the COVID-19 and its financial impact.
I am reflecting on all we have achieved together as a team nd remain inspired by your passion, contributions and perseverance. Just recently, with minimal resources, we have achieved yet another milestone with the award of the official MIIT manufacturing license for our plant in Nanjing, China.
You are all aware of the fact that the company's ability to obtain financing from existing and new investors has been severely impacted by the current economic Climate. It is with deep regret that I need to inform you that our relentless efforts to work on effective bridging solutions with our existing partners have not resulted in the required short term breakthrough.
As a result, and as communicated during this morning's All Hands Meeting, I must confirm that we are reducing the US employee headcount as we are no longer able to sustain the current headcount level, effective June 30, 2020.
We are retaining a core team of employees as an IP and operational backbone in R&D and supporting functions who have been informed separately by their department VP Our global program continuity will be secured based on the revised collaboration model between our Silicon Valley, Nanjing and Munich offices.
We will pay out previously deferred salaries to all U.S. employees on or before June 30, 2020. Final paychecks will be delivered to employees impacted by the layoff. Unfortunately, given the company's financial situation we are unable to offer any severance benefits. HR will send out follow一up emails regarding the off boarding activities.
I personally and wholeheartedly want to thank everyone for making the M-Byte a reality. We will honor your dedication when launching our vehicle in the near future. To others, let's remain resilient and focused during this difficult time. I look forward to and positively await the reopening and close collaboration amongst the global teams across Byton.