A difficult game: Why tech giant Sea’s cost-cutting casualties included Singapore football players

Rising interest rates and the need for tech firms to conserve cash have been a reality check

The Lion City Sailors’ training facility in Mattar Road. The club announced the departure of six highly paid players a few weeks ago. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
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The shock departure of players from Singapore football club Lion City Sailors, and Singapore-based online gaming and e-commerce company Sea laying off 7,000 workers – what do these two events have in common? They show the effect of higher interest rates and a global slowdown hitting home, even in resilient Singapore.

Sea is the parent company of Shopee, the largest online shopping platform in South-east Asia, and the maker of popular games like Free Fire. It was founded by Singapore billionaire Forrest Li, who went on to buy Lion City Sailors, the Singapore Premier League’s first privatised club.

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