Sea Ltd Lays Off Workers
SINGAPORE – After suffering a series of setbacks that has forced it to focus on profitability, South-east Asia’s biggest tech firm Sea Limited is letting go of some staff, according to a report from The Straits Times that was updated on Friday afternoon (2 September, SGT).
Sources revealed that the company intends to lay off workers at its profitable gaming division Garena. Around 40 jobs will be slashed from its gaming live stream app Booyah!, including in teams working on quality assurance and product management.
Sea Ltd is also firing staff at some of its experimental ventures at R&D subsidiary Sea Labs. It plans to let go of a dozen staff working on areas like blockchain and public cloud, one of the sources said.
Notably, the company’s e-commerce arm withdrew several job offers for positions at its Singapore HQ. Last week, it was reported that a Chinese national had just flown to the city-state with his wife and dog, but he was informed that his job at Shopee was no longer available after they landed at the airport.
Sea Ltd announced that it would offer compensation to those impacted by the sudden change in their hiring decision. These people will get one month’s worth of salary and their travel expenses will be reimbursed.
“We continue to focus on the long-term strength of our ecosystem. In line with this, we have made some changes to improve efficiency in our operations that impact a number of roles,” said Sea in an e-mailed statement.
Based on the firm’s most recent annual report, it had 67,300 staff as at the end of 2021, double its headcount during the preceding year.
The job cuts come as Sea Ltd faces rising pressure to reduce expenses costs, after growth in its primary e-commerce business Shopee slowed after a pandemic high. Consumers are becoming thriftier with online sales amidst rising interest rates and higher prices of basic goods.
The tech giant lost nearly S$238.4 billion of its market value since an October high after doubts on its future profitability. The firm also revealed that it expects Garena to post its first drop in bookings this year.