World’s largest solar panel maker to slash thousands of jobs

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China’s LONGi Group is laying off up to 30% of its workers to accelerate cost-cutting, according to Bloomberg.

Staff reduction at LONGi Group started in November 2023, and this is an acceleration of layoffs, according to sources who had been briefed by senior management but asked not to be identified by Bloomberg.

LONGi’s staff numbers peaked at around 80,000 in 2023.

However, the Xi’an-based solar panel maker disputed the 30% figure and said job reductions would amount to around 5% of its workforce. (That’s still thousands of jobs.)

The company released a statement that said, due to fierce competition, “In order to adapt to market changes and improve organizational efficiency, Longi is optimizing our workforce.”

China leads global solar manufacturing by far, and a glut of solar panels has meant that solar panel prices plummeted last year, so solar panel makers have had to sell at or below production costs. Cheap Chinese solar panels are also making it hard for European and US solar panel makers to compete.

In response, solar companies are consolidating, and bankruptcies may be on the horizon. However, Bloomberg writes:

Despite the recent challenges, China’s solar industry could start to see a rebound by
year-end, with margins rising in 2025 based on a “quickening pace of consolidation” and
a better balance between supply and demand, according to an analysis by Bloomberg
Intelligence.

Meanwhile, cheap solar panels are driving demand, and new installations are booming globally. The US added a record-setting 32.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in 2023.

Read more: US smashes solar records in 2023 – but 2024 will bring road bumps


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