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Qualcomm begins layoffs at office in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park

Employees reportedly coerced to sign 'mutual termination agreements'

A sign outside Qualcomm offices in San Diego. (Reuters photo)

A sign outside Qualcomm offices in San Diego. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Qualcomm began mass layoffs at its offices in Hsinchu, Taiwan this week, following earlier rumors, with some employees critical of the company’s approach to the firings, UDN reported on Thursday (Sept. 21).

The Hsinchu Science Park Bureau under the National Science and Technology Council was not informed in advance of the layoffs, which is required 10 days in advance of any layoffs according to the science park’s regulations, per LTN. Likewise, as of publication, Qualcomm had not made any public announcement.

According to the reports, employees were being informed in groups that they would be let go from the company. At least one former employee, speaking with UDN, said that employees were being coerced into signing “mutual termination agreements.”

The UDN report contains an image of one such contract termination agreement. Although it is unclear exactly how many employees were forced to leave this week, the layoffs are anticipated to affect hundreds of workers.

Due to less demand and weakened global markets, Qualcomm began to downsize its operations globally in June, starting with its home offices in San Diego. Rumors that layoffs were also in store for the engineering and testing center in Hsinchu appeared in August on the online message board PTT.

Taiwan News reported in August that the company was planning to fire around 200 employees, mostly low-level engineers. The PTT posts also indicated that employees who remain with the company are likely to face salary freezes or cuts to their annual bonus.

In related news, Digitimes reported on Thursday that the company’s Research and Development Office in Shanghai, China is also expected to face massive layoffs in the coming weeks.