The workforce was generally pleased about the adjustment, according to two ByteDance employees who asked for anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to media. One of them described the bimonthly review cycle as being “too fast”, which typically resulted in “tough goals” to achieve.

ByteDance has decided to make a change because it “does not need to maintain as much control” after “evolving from an early- to mid-stage start-up into a mature, pre-IPO company”, said Cameron Johnson, an adjunct faculty instructor at New York University and a partner at Shanghai-based Tidal Wave Solutions.

“Now that the business is bigger and evolving, the change gives managers and teams more time to focus on the goals at hand,” said Johnson, adding that a quarterly review should “encourage employees to stretch themselves and take a longer-term view of the business”.

The move to implement quarterly OKR reviews reflects how ByteDance is keen to sharpen its operational adjustments amid recent reorganisation efforts.

ByteDance boss Liang told employees in December that the company needs to “get fit”, as it streamlines operations. That remark was made months after chief financial officer Julie Gao said the company had no plans to go public.

The firm asked its nearly 100,000 employees to start following a “1075” schedule – 10am to 7pm, five days a week – representing a potentially life-changing move to many in China’s internet industry who have grown accustomed to toiling into the late night and weekends.

The new OKR review schedule also comes at a time when ByteDance continues to make inroads into new markets.

ByteDance-owned Douyin, the Chinese version of hit global short video service TikTok, has been making aggressive moves in various segments of the on-demand e-commerce services sector that is dominated by Meituan.