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Sea's e-commerce arm Shopee laying off staff across Southeast Asia

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Singapore/New Delhi, June 14 (Ajit Weekly News) Sea Group’s e-commerce arm Shopee, which shut its India operations in March, is laying off staff across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, media reports said on Tuesday.

According to DealStreetAsia, the layoffs have hit employees across several of the company’s Southeast Asian markets and Shopee has emailed those affected by the layoffs.

“Shopee’s payments arm ShopeePay and food delivery business ShopeeFood are also said to be facing cuts,” the report noted.

The move by the company is reportedly aimed at “rationalising its e-commerce business” as rising inflation and high interest rates have hit the startup ecosystem globally.

Shoppe was yet to react to the development.

Shopee has also reportedly put a freeze on hiring, with several job offers for regional roles rescinded.

The company also appears to be facing setbacks on its global expansion plans, including foraying into Europe and Latin America.

Singapore-based Sea had in March announced to shut operations of its e-commerce portal Shopee in India that was witnessing fresh hirings and growth amid criticism from the local industry bodies and the government banning its marquee game ‘Garena Free Fire’ along with 53 Chinese apps in the country.

The company had said the decision to shut down e-commerce business in India had nothing to do with the government’s ban on its popular game, but owing to “global market uncertainties”.

“In view of global market uncertainties, we have decided to close our early-stage Shopee India initiative. During this period of transition, we will focus on supporting our local seller and buyer communities and our local team to make the process as smooth as possible,” a company spokesperson had said.

The Indian government’s ban on ‘Garena Free Fire’ in February, along with 53 other Chinese apps, had sent its stocks tumbling.

Sea’s stock sank by 19 per cent as it lost $16 billion in New York on February 14, the steepest decline, though analysts speculated the revenue from India could be less than 10 per cent.

–Ajit Weekly News

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