Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) has made 506 employees redundant, attributing intense competition in an extremely difficult economic climate, a company statement said.
"The redundancies will be made across the board, in all areas," from junior staff to those in the executive level, said Joan Wagner, a PCCW spokeswoman.
PCCW cannot guarantee there will not be further layoffs. The company plans to implement a wage and headcount freeze, effective immediately. However, staff who make "significant contributions" will be rewarded in a new incentive scheme, although details of the new arrangement were not disclosed.
The layoffs come as no surprise to industry analysts. "Telcos are consolidating more and more to remain competitive," said Rachel Lo, senior analyst of communications at IDC Asia-Pacific. "This isn't the first redundancy exercise and it certainly won't be the last," she said.
PCCW signed a strategic alliance with Telstra in October last year that involved the forming of three joint venture companies: one focused on the sharing of the companies' network backbones, one focused on regional wireless, and one on an Internet data centre.