Singapore-based e-commerce and gaming company, Sea Ltd, is reportedly slashing less than 500 jobs at its Indonesian unit, Shopee, as part of its efforts to curb mounting losses. According to a Bloomberg News report published on Friday, the latest round of layoffs is primarily focused on the customer service team and includes both full-time and contract workers.
The job cuts are part of Sea’s broader cost-cutting measures aimed at reducing losses, which have been increasing due to the company’s aggressive expansion in the e-commerce and gaming sectors. The company has not yet commented on the latest layoffs.
This is not the first time that Sea has resorted to job cuts to improve its financials. In September last year, Bloomberg reported that the company had cut 3% of its workforce at the Indonesian unit. Moreover, in 2020, the company laid off over 7,000 employees, which accounted for about 10% of its total workforce, according to a report by The Information.
The ongoing pandemic has had a significant impact on the e-commerce sector, with many companies struggling to stay afloat due to lower consumer spending and supply chain disruptions. Sea’s Shopee unit has been no exception, with the company facing mounting losses in recent months.
In response to the challenging business environment, Sea has been exploring various measures to reduce costs, including streamlining its operations, cutting jobs, and raising funds through share sales. Despite the challenges, the company remains optimistic about the future and believes that it can weather the current storm through effective cost management and strategic investments in growth areas.
India exit for Shopee
Shopee has decided to cease its operations in India just six months after entering the market, according to sources who spoke with ET. The announcement was made during a company-wide town hall on Monday, with the e-commerce company stating that it will immediately shut down its operations in India. The closure of the business will be effective from March 29.
Shopee had been competing with other major e-commerce companies in India, such as Flipkart, Amazon India, and Meesho. The company focused on the lower-end of the market, but faced a difficult time establishing its presence in the country.
A spokesperson for Shopee confirmed the closure to ET, stating that the company had decided to close its “early stage Shopee India initiative” due to global market uncertainties. The move comes as part of the company’s broader efforts to streamline its operations and focus on growth areas.
Shutting down operations in India will allow Shopee to allocate its resources to other markets where it has a stronger foothold. While the decision to exit the Indian market may be disappointing for the company, it is a strategic move that will allow it to focus
After the pandemic boom of a few years, technology companies ended 2022 with a bleak outlook. Across the sector, thousands of jobs were cut to correct the over-hiring of the Covid period, and brace for, what experts call, a period of slower growth for the sector.
The layoff wave has swept not only startups and mid-sized firms, but also big tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent Alphabet, among others.
Twilio, LinkedIn, Zoom, Dell, Pinterest, and Tinder owner Match are among companies that have joined the layoff bandwagon more recently in a bid to rein in the costs amid a looming global economic downturn.