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Singapore’s Sea to invest more in e-com platform Shopee

Last year, Shopee revoked a number of job offers for positions at its headquarters in Singapore

E-commerce giant Sea will increase investments in its online shopping business ‘Shopee’ across all markets, as Chinese startup TikTok’s shopping endeavour extends into new regions.

According to Nikkei Asia, The Southeast Asian IT company Sea, which has stopped operating its Indian e-commerce portal Shopee, plans to increase investment in its e-commerce division as the market becomes more competitive.

ByteDance’s short video-sharing website TikTok debuted online. It has over 1.677 billion users globally out of which 1.1 billion are its monthly active users as of 2023. It also launched the online shopping service ‘TikTok Shop’ in 2021, starting in Indonesia.

“TikTok Shop has expanded into other regional markets, where Sea e-commerce unit Shopee, Alibaba-owned Lazada and Indonesia’s Tokopedia have dominated,” the report mentioned.

Last year, Shopee revoked a number of job offers for positions at its headquarters in Singapore. Additionally, the business required laid-off workers to reimburse it for damaged work computers.

Shopee earlier started a large-scale layoff programme in China, with some departments experiencing reductions of up to 60%.

When the government of India banned the company’s flagship game, ‘Garena Free Fire,’ along with 53 Chinese apps, Sea announced in March of last year that it would shut down operations of its e-commerce web Shopee in India. This decision drew criticism from the industry groups in the country.

However, the company claimed that the decision to stop doing business in India was not because the government had banned its well-known game, but rather because of ‘global market uncertainties.’

On the other hand, Sea is also the owner of Singapore Premier League football club Lion City Sailors FC, after Forrest Li acquired, privatised and renamed Home United.

Recently, the company raised USD 7.2 billion in an equity and convertible bond sale, which made it Southeast Asia’s largest fundraising company. The company said it planned to use the cash for strategic investments and potential acquisitions.

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