Singapore’s giant Sea said on Monday it is shutting down its e-commerce business, Shopee, in India, months after the firm began recruiting sellers in the country. The announcement follows India’s decision to ban Sea’s popular title “Free Fire” in the country last month, a move that wiped billions of dollars from Shopee’s market cap.
A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch Shopee’s India shutdown decision is not linked with the Free Fire ban in India. The company insisted in a statement that the it is closing down the business in the South Asian market factoring in the “global market uncertainties.”
“In view of global market uncertainties, we have decided to close our early-stage Shopee India initiative. 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. We will continue to focus our efforts on delivering a positive impact to our global communities, in line with our mission to better the lives of the underserved through technology,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
In September last year, TechCrunch reported that Shopee had quietly launched a website for sellers in India. The six-year-old e-commerce service, which was seen as a late entrant in Southeast Asia, was also onboarding sellers and offering them lucrative perks such as free shipping and zero commission.
The company will cease operations in India on Tuesday. It plans to process all orders placed before March 29 and will provide after sales support services.
This is a developing story.
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