A new problem has now arisen after American auction website eBay.com (EBAY) signed an agreement with Tom Online (TOMO) in December 2006 to build a new online auction company in China. Employees at eBay Eachnet now show strong feelings against the move and are complaining about the scheme where they have to first end their labor contracts with eBay before signing a new one with the new joint venture with Tom Online.
What they feel most dissatisfied about is the compensation for ending the agreement and the requirements concerning their stock options with eBay. But a spokesman from eBay Eachnet says that the company now has no plans to reduce staff. However, after the setup of the new venture, current employees need to sign a new contract with the company, which may mean a change in their benefits and salary.
Besides the re-signing of the new labor contract, the employees also worry that they won't be employed by the new venture for at least one year, as this is not clearly stated in the new contract. But a representative from Tom Online says that the new company will guarantee the rights and interests of its employees.
In spite of this, about 100 employees from eBay Eachnet have jointly signed a petition saying that they won't sign the agreement in which eBay asks to end the contract until there is a satisfactory reply to their letter to the CEO of the company. There are also rumors that current Hong Kong and China investors in eBay Eachnet might had improper dealings in their agreement to sign over the company to Tom Online, and some eBay Eachnet staff are seeking legal help in tracking down any illicit behavior.
On December 20, 2006, eBay.com and Tom Online announced a joint venture agreement in China. They agreed to combine expertise and a joint investment to build a new China marketplace which will mainly deal in electronic commerce and mobile operations. The new venture will also take over the eBay Eachnet, while the independent e-commerce service of eBay will be shifted to focus on international business.