Singapore’s e-commerce giant shopee plans to cease its India operations

Sea Ltd SE.N, Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce company, said on Monday that it is shutting down operations in India “in the face of global market uncertainty”.

Founded in Singapore, the technology group entered India in October 2021 as part of an international expansion push.

This move follows Shopee’s announcement of pulling out of France and Indian regulators’ decision to ban Sea’s popular gaming app “Free Fire”. The statement covered only retail, not gaming, activities in India.

A New York-listed Southeast Asian firm’s value plummeted by $16 billion in one day following the ban, leading some investors to sell their holdings. The company is valued at around $65 billion, after reaching as much as $200 billion in late 2021 on the back of a COVID-fueled shopping and entertainment boom.

Shopee said in its statement it would endeavor to make the process as smooth as possible by supporting local seller and buyer communities.

Offline retailers have often alleged foreign companies bypass the regulations and offer deep discounts that hurt their business, allegations the companies deny.

Shopee had in recent months faced boycott calls from such traders in India. As of Monday, Shopee’s India website was still operational and said it offered “bumper discounts and attractive deals” to customers.

Here’s its message for shoppers

Dear Shopee Users,

We regret to inform you that the Shopee India platform will be ceasing operations with effect from 29 March, 12.00AM (IST).

Rest assured that all orders placed before this date will continue to be fulfilled as usual, and after-sale services and support will continue to be available to all users who have made purchases on our platform. If you have any questions, please contact at [email protected].

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