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Shopee joins start-up layoffs trend in RI, blames global economy

Jakarta Post - September 19, 2022

Wike D. Herlinda, Jakarta – Shopee Indonesia has announced layoffs in Indonesia, following a wider trend that has been unsettling workers in the country's tech sector over the past few months.

The subsidiary of Singapore's Sea Ltd. said on Monday it had fired "a number of" employees in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Shopee was preparing to fire 3 percent of its employees in the country as part of "a broader wave of regional job cuts intended to curb ballooning losses and win back investors."

Shopee has also pulled back from major markets in Europe and Latin America, in addition to getting banned in India amid increasing tensions with Chinese firms.

The company vowed the latest decision would not affect its business operations or services for sellers, buyers and partners in Indonesia.

Shopee Indonesia head of public affairs Radnyal Nataprawria explained that the decision was the last option for the e-commerce firm after other adjustments made to its business policies.

"Global economic conditions require us to adapt more quickly and evaluate business priorities in order to be more efficient. This is a very difficult decision," he was quoted as saying in a statement released on Monday.

He underscored that the efficiency measure was in line with the company's global focus on achieving independence and sustainability, which he said were two important components in running a business amid the current global economic woes.

Radnyal also stressed that Shopee Indonesia would focus on sustainable business growth, adding that the company wanted "to strengthen and ensure our operations are stable in the current economic situation."

He said Shopee would remain committed to supporting the affected workers.

"This process will be carried out based on government regulations. Affected employees will receive severance pay in accordance with statutory provisions with an additional one month of salary," he explained.

As of this year, Shopee has served both buyers and sellers, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and local entrepreneurs, in 514 cities and regencies in the archipelago. The company said it remained committed to programs for MSMEs carried out at nine Shopee MSME Campuses.

"Shopee's achievements so far cannot be separated from the hard work and commitment of the Shopee team. We thank you for the contribution of the entire Shopee team so far," Radnyal said, noting that "we will continue our mission to serve millions of [users] to enjoy the benefits of the digital economy through our platform."

Shopee has been one of Sea's major businesses, along with a gaming arm. The largest Southeast Asian tech giant ended 2021 with a total of around 67,000 employees.

The group has lost around US$170 billion in market value since an October high as questions remain about its profit prospects amid rising interest rates in the region as well as intensifying competition from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/business/2022/09/19/shopee-joins-start-up-layoffs-trend-in-ri-blames-global-economy.htm