This Singapore Based Ecommerce Firm Shuts Down Indian Operations: Find Out Why?

This Singapore Based Ecommerce Firm Shuts Down Indian Operations: Find Out Why?
This Singapore Based Ecommerce Firm Shuts Down Indian Operations: Find Out Why?

Singaporean e-commerce firm Shopee, which is part of the Sea group, is leaving the Indian market in a seemingly sudden decision.

Shopee Exit From Indian Market

Shopee was launched here merely some months before when  the company informed its employees about its decision in a town hall meeting. 

The Sea group said, “In view of global market uncertainties, we have decided to close our early-stage Shopee India initiative,” in a statement. 

Further adding, “During this period of transition, we will focus on supporting our local seller and buyer communities and our local team to make the process as smooth as possible.”

Confusion And Uncertainties

Basically, Shopee is a low-cost e-commerce platform which was launched in India in November 2021.

After its launch, the platform rapidly used a tried-and-tested strategy of deeply discounted products to expand in the Indian market. 

By January, the firm’s app had over 20 million downloads, as per the estimate by Sensor Tower.

So far, no information is available on how much advance warning employees got. 

Interestingly, the app has been working as usual until recently  as the sales continue, with the site advertising a sale on April 4. 

Not only that, a review of posts on LinkedIn showed recent recruits to the company posting about joining days ago. 

In response to this, one former employee put out a post on Monday.

He has warned the recruits who had been messaging him for advice to hold their applications to join the company.

Reason of this move is so far unclear if government pressure behind the scenes was involved in Shopee’s decision.

Or this could be purely a business decision driven by the so-called “global market uncertainties” cited by the company. 

CAIT’s Disapproval

Earlier, the Confederation of All India Traders, a brick-and-mortar lobbying group close to the government, had demanded that Shopee be banned from India due to its ties to China (Tencent holds a minority stake, and the company’s founder was born in Tianjin).

In response to this news, CAIT’s Secretary General, Praveen Khandelwal celebrated the company’s withdrawal on Twitter.

Saying that “All companies violating Sovereign Indian laws and breaching data privacy shall meet the same fate.” 

It seems that Shopee had emerged as an arch-rival for Meesho which had pivoted from social commerce to a regular e-commerce model last year.

Meesho also led to its own struggles with cash burn, as Entrackr had reported earlier this month. 

Besides this, Shopee was also a competition for Flipkart’s Shopsy and Snapdeal.

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