Sea Group-owned e-commerce giant, Shopee, is laying off staff across several markets, including downsizing ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams in Southeast Asia.
It is not evident which countries will be most impacted by the decision, however, staff cuts have been confirmed in Vietnam and Indonesia. Two sources told DealStreetAsia that nearly half the number of staff of Shopee Thailand’s payment and food delivery arms have been affected. The company is reported to have emailed staff impacted by downsizing, suspending its recruiting process and several job offers for regional positions have been rescinded.
The layoffs are reported to result from the increasing inflation and high interest rates, which have forced the company to “rationalise its e-commerce business”.
The Southeast Asian firm also plans to shutter its early-stage operations in Spain, after exiting France and India last March. The Indian withdrawal came after the government imposed a ban on Sea Group’s ‘Garena Free Fire’ game together with 53 Chinese apps. However, the company said the shutdown was due to “global market uncertainties”.
According to Sea Group’s Q1 results released last month, HQ costs increased by US$162.1 million year on year, which accounted for about 50 per cent of the year-on-year increase in its adjusted EBITDA loss. The surge in HQ costs, according to the company, was mostly attributable to increased staff costs, which increased by US$113.3 million, mainly due to a higher headcount.
According to data.ai, Shopee is currently dominating the Southeast Asia and Taiwan markets among marketplaces.