Some Singapore staff affected in Shopee's latest job cuts

Shopee's layoffs include employees in human resources, regional operations, marketing, and product and engineering. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Employees affected by e-commerce platform Shopee's latest round of job cuts will be given "appropriate compensation packages" in line with market norms, the firm said in a joint statement with the Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) on Monday.

This comes as some staff in Singapore were informed that they were part of further layoffs on Monday.

The Straits Times understands that a low single-digit percentage of Shopee workers are affected, although it is not clear how many of the platform's regional markets will be hit in this latest cost-cutting exercise.

Shopee's layoffs include employees in human resources, regional operations, marketing, and product and engineering, The Business Times reported on Monday.

It also cited sources saying that some workers, including those in Singapore and China, began receiving e-mail notices of their layoffs shortly after department-wide town halls on Monday.

Shopee, the e-commerce arm of New York Stock Exchange-listed Sea, had earlier this year cut workers in its ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams in the region.

Its parent company has been undertaking extensive cost-cutting measures in recent months, with questions over its money-making prospects intensifying amid the challenging global environment and widespread decline in technology stocks.

Earlier this month, it trimmed staff in its gaming arm Garena and its research and development unit Sea Labs as well.

A Shopee spokesman said in a statement: "These changes are part of our ongoing efforts to optimise operating efficiency with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency across our business.

"We are extending support to our affected colleagues during this transition."

The joint statement by Shopee and CMPU said that employment facilitation and assistance, including career coaching and job matching services via CMPU's network and the National Trades Union Congress' e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), will be offered if required.

CMPU will also continue to work closely with Shopee to ensure that employees' interests and welfare are taken care of as much as possible, it added.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Sea is preparing to lay off 3 per cent of Shopee employees in Indonesia as part of the broader wave of regional job cuts to curb ballooning losses and win back investors.

Affected teams included Shopee's marketing as well as operations units.

Last week, Sea co-founder Forrest Li said in an internal memo that members of Sea's top management will forgo their salaries and cap business expenses, emphasising the need for the company to become "self-sufficient".

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