shopee tengku zafrul
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Singapore-based e-commerce giant Sea, the parent company of Shopee, has announced its commitment to expanding in Malaysia, which is expected to create over 2,000 jobs in the country.

Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, made this announcement during his official visit to Sea’s headquarters in Singapore on Sunday (January 29).

shopee tengku zafrul
Shopee co-founder Gang Ye (left) and Tengku Zafrul Aziz (right) / Image Credit: Tengku Zafrul via Facebook

During the minister’s visit, Sea shared its plans for expansion in Malaysia, which include the setting up of cloud computing services, data hosting and processing, as well as a new logistics e-commerce warehouse.

The cloud computing project will be located in a three-story green facility in Johor’s Kulai town and will include 24 data hall suites, mechanical and electrical rooms, office space, as well as storage and parking facilities. The target completion date for this project is set for the first quarter of 2024.

Shopee will also be expanding its footprint in Malaysia with a newly-constructed two-story mega warehouse in Bukit Raja, Klang. This warehouse will be an integrated hi-tech logistics park equipped with cloud infrastructure spanning 130,000 square metres.

“Their planned foreign direct investment in cloud computing and hi-tech warehousing is set to create more than 2,000 new jobs for our people, which will also help us upskill our human capital while enhancing national productivity and competitiveness in the long run,” said Tengku Zafrul Aziz.

He added that the company’s investment in Malaysia will also have positive spillover effects for small- and medium-sized enterprises, corporates, and local communities.

Sea’s primary objective is to be cashflow positive

Sea’s decision to expand its investment footprint in Malaysia reflects the company’s confidence in the country’s business landscape. Sea’s co-founder and group COO, Gang Ye, said that the company’s expansion plans in Malaysia are a significant development not only for the group, but also for the local digital ecosystem.

However, the company is reportedly facing some challenges. Sea’s founder, Forrest Li, announced last September in an internal memo that the company’s primary objective for the next 12 to 18 months is to achieve positive cashflow as soon as possible.

He had noted that Sea has been struggling in an era of rising interest rates, accelerating inflation, and a volatile market. He sees this as not a “passing storm”, adding that these will likely persist into the medium term.

As of December last year, it is reported that Sea has laid off more than 7,000 employees, or around 10 per cent of its global workforce. Its latest round of layoffs — its third one within 2022 — was conducted last November.

Earlier that year, Shopee had also let go of its regional workers in its ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams. Then in September 2022, Shopee also trimmed staff in its gaming arm Garena and research and development unit Sea Labs.

Separately, Shopee also made headlines recently for withdrawing multiple job offers based in Singapore. The e-commerce firm reasoned that due to adjustments in hiring plans, a number of roles at Shopee are no longer available.

Featured Image Credit: Tengku Zafrul via Facebook

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