Sounds like a dick move honestly.
Shopee, an e-commerce site that made a boom during the pandemic thanks to its convenience. It also offered small business owners to adapt to an online market industry and companies to use as a platform to sell their products. Recently, the company announced that it had laid off several of its employees after it reported a net loss of $931.2 million. Prior to this announcement, the company has already started downsizing in its home country of Singapore, as well as China.
This continued downsizing has also affected Shopee Philippines. According to the company, Shopee Philippines will reduce its number of employees to a “low single-digit percentage” just like its international counterparts.
The company justified that this move is “sensible” and “prudent” after having a reported net loss of $931.2 million during the second quarter of 2022; more than double than that of the second quarter of 2021 in which the company lost about $433.7 million. Shopee Philippines has confirmed that this downsizing will not affect its operations.
Currently, the company is valued at $2.9 billion as reported by its parent company, Sea Limited.
Shopee Philippines also announced that it hired a new endorser, Toni Gonzaga, a politically diverse and controversial figure, to represent the app. This caused a massive uproar as this happened right after the company laid off several of its employees. Several netizens boycotted the e-commerce platform and used its competing alternative, Lazada. There were also several reports of users outright deleting the app after this announcement was made.
Netizens criticized how Toni Gonzaga is paid in very large sums but couldn’t pay its employees that actually make the business work. Many did not see it as justifiable and see it as unfair. The company’s choice of ambassador also caused a sour reaction within Shopee Philippines’ internal staff.
In response, a Shopee representative told Inquirer.net that Toni Gonzaga was chosen not for her political views but for her mass appeal.
A seller has reported that, in all of their years in Shopee, this is the first time they had zero sales. A commenter responded by saying this must be due to the ambassador issue.
Another Facebook post showed a thread recalling their experience as a seller with Shopee. The seller claimed that Shopee is unfair to sellers and that the app’s proprietary delivery service, Shopee Xpress, required sellers to purchase packaging instead of them being provided. Also, she claims that Shopee always favours customers and never hears the side of the sellers.
The outrage has caused a great level of publicity to both Lazada and Shopee. Regardless of their effects, it did help make people notice these two e-commerce apps.