Ecommerce titan Shopee has slashed jobs in Malaysia following a retrenchment round in three other countries. People familiar with the matter told Tech in Asia that an announcement by senior management was made during a Monday town hall. A source who was affected by the job cuts couldn’t confirm the number of employees who were laid off, but they told us that some of their affected peers came from the business development, marketing, and customer service departments. Another source told us that Monday’s layoff announcement was part of last week’s round of retrenchments. The delay for Malaysia was due to the scale and size of the exercise, the source said, but they added that cuts “remain in the low single-digit percentage across all teams affected.”
In a statement, Shopee said that like last week’s exercise, the Malaysia cuts are part of ongoing efforts to “optimize operating efficiency with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency across our business.” September has been a rough month for Shopee. On September 19, Indonesian business portal Kumparan reported that the company will be laying off staff in Singapore, China, and Indonesia, dismissing 180 employees in total. An undisclosed number of employees in Taiwan and the Philippines were also recently let go. Earlier this month, the ecommerce platform closed operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.
Shopee’s parent firm, Sea Group, has also announced belt-tightening measures. Citing an internal memo to staff sent by CEO Forrest Li, Bloomberg reported on September 15 that the group revised company expense guidelines with the top management forgoing salaries until self-sufficiency was achieved. Li added that for business travel, Sea staff would stick to economy class. Travel and hotel stay expenses would also be limited to US$30 and US$150 per day, respectively.