HTC is cutting a fifth of its workforce as it struggles to gain an edge over rivals

  • HTC said it was laying off 1,500 manufacturing workers in Taiwan, its home country, in an effort to “realign” resources.
  • HTC’s annual revenues fell 46.03 percent in May, and 55.47 percent the previous month, according to the firm’s website.
  • It has been piling resources into virtual reality, an industry thought to be worth billions, with its own VR headset, the HTC Vive.
A view of the HTC company logo on their stand during the Mobile World Congress on March 1, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
Cros Garcia | Corbis | Getty Images
A view of the HTC company logo on their stand during the Mobile World Congress on March 1, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

It was once a powerhouse in the cellphone marketplace, supplying a tenth of the world’s smartphones in 2011.

Now, after consecutive financial losses, HTC is cutting a fifth of its global workforce.

The company said it was laying off 1,500 manufacturing workers in Taiwan, its home country, in an effort to “realign” resources. It had 7,322 employees at the end of March, according to data on the firm’s website.

"Today's reduction in manufacturing workforce announced by HTC is a decisive step in the realignment of resources across the organization, and will allow more flexible operations management," the firm said in a statement. "The plan... will be completed by the end of September."

HTC’s annual revenues fell 46.03 percent in May, and 55.47 percent the previous month, according to the firm’s website.

The company struck a $1.1 billion deal with Google in September last year that saw 2,000 HTC employees join the U.S. firm. HTC, known for its One flagship phone series, manufactured Google’s Pixel. The deal was part of Google’s aim to boost its hardware business.

The smartphone market has become a fiercely competitive one, with industry titans Apple and Samsung being the two dominant global forces.

HTC has been piling resources into virtual reality, an industry thought to be worth billions, with its own VR headset, the HTC Vive.

Shares of HTC, which is listed in Taiwan, closed 6.7 percent lower on Tuesday.