Shopee Reportedly Downsizes Team in PH

Shopee - downsizing PH workforce

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According to reports from Inquirer, Singapore-based e-commerce platform Shopee is downsizing its workforce in the Philippines in a cost-cutting measure that has affected the global workforce of the platform.

A deeper look into the Shopee situation

Business Insider Africa took a closer look at the financial situation at Sea Limited which owns 100% of Shopee (as well as Garena). According to the report, Shopee closed its Indian office and laid off 300 staff members as well as pulled out of France in March.

Meanwhile, in late August, it rescinded job offers as per South China Morning Post. This wasn’t the end of it though as the e-commerce platform shut down operations in Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Mexico in earlier this month according to Straits Times.

According to Taiwan News, layoffs also hit Taiwan offices of the e-commerce platform on September 27 with dozens of employees asked to pack their things and leave on September 26.

Shopee - downsizing PH workforce

Shopee founder Forrest Li wrote a 1,000-word memo to its staff in mid-September explaining that the objective of the company for the next 12-18 months is to be self-sufficient.

Li explained that the company has a “solid cash base” but also warned, “we can easily run through this cash base if we are not careful, and with investors fleeing for ‘safe haven’ investments, we do not anticipate being able to raise funds in the market.”

Sea Limited second quarter 2022 financial statements reveal that revenue has grown with e-commerce as its biggest growth driver. Its revenues stood at USD 2.9 billion, a 29% year-over-year growth, while Shopee’s revenue was at USD 1.8 billion, a 75.6% year-over-year growth.

Although, Sea Limited also reported a loss of USD 931.2 million in the second quarter of 2022, which is pretty significant from a net loss of USD 433.7 million at the same time last year.

Shopee contributed around 60% of the total revenue the previous quarter but Sea Limited has mentioned that it will suspend the 2022 revenue forecasts for its e-commerce platform.

Local situation of Shopee

According to Inquirer, the e-commerce platform is downsizing its workforce in the Philippines to “optimize” its business. The reduction is said to be by a low single-digit percentage with its core operation, though, is likely to be unaffected.

When asked to comment on this, the e-commerce platform told the news outlet, “These changes are part of our ongoing efforts to optimize operating efficiency with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency across our business. We are extending support to our affected colleagues during this transition.”

Following the downsizing report though, Shopee posted on its social media platforms teasers of its latest endorser which has since been revealed to be Toni Gonzaga. This announcement timed with the report of the layoffs has since garnered the company quite a mixed bag of reactions from people.

On the other hand, former employees that have been laid off took to social media to show their appreciation for the support and explain the actual situation.

Sources 1, 2, 3 | Featured Image

Ram found his love and appreciation for writing in 2015 having started in the gaming and esports sphere for GG Network. He would then transition to focus more on the world of tech which has also began his journey into learning more about this world. That said though, he still has the mentality of "as long as it works" for his personal gadgets.

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