MySpace China lays off CEO, majority of staff

Decreasingly popular social networking service MySpace appears to be struggling to compete in the Chinese market, resulting in the loss of two thirds of its staff and the departure of its chief executive officer.

Although the lay-offs, which resulted in around thirty of the company's Chinese staff losing their jobs, occurred some time last month, the news is only now breaking thanks to Chinese-language site TechWeb.com.cn.

The now-jobless ex-employees can at least take with them the knowledge that they're in good company: as well as the main lay-offs, the company has outed chief executive officer Wei Lai following his inability to drive the company's planned growth as music platform.

With MySpace struggling across the world against social networking giant Facebook, it's no surprise that its Chinese branch is also having a hard time of things - but the scale of the problem may come as a shock.

Having announced to the Chinese press its intentions to transform the social networking service into a high-profile music promotion platform, MySpace China went suddenly quiet - failing to deliver on its grandiose promises and leaving room for home-grown equivalents and other foreign services to pick up the slack.

While China is a notoriously difficult country for a foreign Internet business to break into - not least due to the country's strict laws on censorship - MySpace's performance is sure to disappoint the company's shareholders.