Sea shuts down operations in Latin American countries: Reuters

September 9, 2022 9:00 pm

Shopee, the e-commerce arm of Sinapore-based Sea Ltd, will retreat from Argentina and shut local operations in Chile, Colombia and Mexico while its Garena gaming unit will lay off hundreds of staff in Shanghai, Reuters reported on Friday, citing an internal email.

Explanning the rationale behind the decision maker, Shoppe Chief Executive Chirs Feng said in an internal email that the company needed to focus resources on core operations considering the current increasing macro uncertainty.

New York-listed Sea has been cutting jobs in India, France, and Spain after shutting down local operations there. Sea Limited, the parent company of Shopee, reported a net loss of $931 million for the second quarter, which is more than double a net loss of $433.7 million reported in the same period last year. Although its quarterly revenue rose 29% year-on-year to $2.9 billion, the growth rate was slower than in previous quarters. Sea will quit Argentina entirely, and will maintain cross-border operations in Chile, Colombia and Mexico but lay off dozens of local employees, Reuter reported, citing sources closed to the matter.

Shopee is also laying off staffs in Shanghai, where operation of Garena’s survival shooting game Free Fire located.

Free Fire, which was once the highest grossing mobile game in Southeast Asia, has struggled after the game was banned by the Indian government in February.

Sea is one of beneficiaries of the Covid-19 pandemic as pandemic lockdowns have boosted demand for online shopping, home entertainment such as gaming, which are two mainly core business of Sea. Sea saw its market value soar to more than $200 billion last October, but its shares have tumbled since then and are now worth just $27 billion.