Shopee, an e-commerce giant in Southeast Asia, is launching a layoff plan. The teams affected by the layoffs include the ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams in Southeast Asia, Shopee teams in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, and cross-border teams supporting the market in Spain, according to multiple media sources on Tuesday.
Shopee called this round of layoffs an “optimization,” which aims to make adjustments to operations in certain segments and markets. Details were made available in Shopee’s memo, which stated that “(Given) elevated uncertainty in the broader economy, we believe that it is prudent to make certain difficult but important adjustments to enhance our operational efficiency and focus our resources. This is to ensure that as an enterprise, we can always in the best position to achieve sustainable expansion and ultimately win the market.”
In addition, according to CNA, Chris Feng, president of Shopee Group, also said that Shopee will end its initial trial operations in Spain, which is another setback after Shopee withdrew from French and Indian markets. But, he said that their business will continue operating as per usual in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, as well as in South-east Asia with their ShopeeFood and ShopeePay services.
Shopee, backed by Sea and founded in 2015, is called a “local company” in Singapore, but it still has the blood of Chinese e-commerce. Whether it is Forrest Li, CEO of Sea Group, who is well acquainted with the Chinese market, or Feng, CEO of Shopee, their reference is still the “style” of domestic e-commerce. Feng, in particular, became the general manager and chief purchasing officer of Lazada Southeast Asia after seven years at McKinsey.
Several sci-tech and internet companies in Southeast Asia have recently laid off employees, including Singapore’s personal finance platform StashAway (14%), Indonesia’s SME bookkeeping tool Lummo (30%), Vietnam’s real estate brokerage platform Propzy (50%), Indonesia’s online education platform Zenius (20%). A Tesla country manager based in Singapore announced on LinkedIn that his position had been cut in Tesla’s latest round of 10% layoffs.