Workers at the Chinese search engine Baidu have halted a two-week strike over pay cuts to give the company several days to prepare a response. But the two sides have yet to reach a new agreement, and the workers could choose to begin striking again.
It’s unclear what kind of financial impact the strike, which began May 4, has had on Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU). The company reported a strong first quarter just a few weeks ago and said revenue would likely grow by 30-some percent in the second quarter. During the strike, the workers either stayed home or went to the office and refused to work, the Wall Street Journal reported. Baidu is the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) of China, but unlike its U.S. counterpart, it relies mostly on human beings to sells the ads rather than automation.
Strikes over wages are rare at internet companies and work stoppages in general are scarce in China. The Baidu workers had been striking over what they said were unrealistic increases in sales quotas (where many make the majority of their compensation through commissions) and 30 percent decreases in salary. Some claim the changes were made to force them out of their jobs instead of laying them off. The company countered that the changes were made to motivate and incentivize the salesforce during what is proving to be a weak ad environment in China.