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Shopee's parent company, Sea, expanding investments in Malaysia, creating 2,000 jobs

Singapore-based Sea will also open a cloud computing project in the Johor town of Kulai.

Shopee's parent company, Sea, expanding investments in Malaysia, creating 2,000 jobs

Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz at the Shopee headquarters in Singapore on Jan 29, 2023. (Photo: Facebook/Tengku Zafrul)

SINGAPORE: Singapore-based e-commerce giant Sea, the parent company of Shopee, has committed to expanding its investments in Malaysia, creating more than 2,000 jobs in the process.

Shopee is the largest pan-regional e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. 

Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry, Tengku Zafrul Aziz announced this move during his official visit to the company’s headquarters in Singapore on Sunday (Jan 29). 

Sea's decision to expand its investment footprint in Malaysia reflects the company’s confidence in the prospects, as well as the operational and policy stability of the country’s business landscape, he added. 

During the minister's visit, Sea shared its proposed expansion plans in Malaysia, involving 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-storey green facility in the Johor town of Kulai, said Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

It will house 24 data hall suites, mechanical and electrical rooms, office space, as well as storage and parking facilities, targeted to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

Additionally, Shopee will also expand its footprint in Malaysia with a newly-constructed two-storey mega warehouse - an integrated hi-tech logistics park equipped with cloud infrastructure spanning 130,000 sq m in Bukit Raja, Klang. 

“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. 

“We are also expecting positive spillover effects for our small- and medium-size enterprises, corporates and the surrounding local communities. This includes local sourcing, vendor development and the strengthening of the local industrial ecosystem, particularly in the digital space," said Tengku Zafrul. 

Tengku Zafrul's three-day investment mission to Singapore is in conjunction with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s first official visit to the country on Monday

During the visit, he will also have one-on-one business meetings with the Yondr Group, a global leader in data centres and INSEACT, a Singapore-based alternative protein company which specialises in producing sustainable insect protein for aquaculture. 

"DIFFICULT 2022"

Sea's co-founder and group chief operating officer, Gang Ye said the decision was a significant development not just for the group, but also for the local digital ecosystem.

“We are grateful for the MITI minister’s and his team’s support for our expansion plans and business strategies,” he said.

Bloomberg previously reported that Sea founder Forrest Li announced in an internal memo that the company "needs to focus on profitability after a difficult 2022", adding that the economy in 2023 "may prove to be even more challenging" amid the ongoing war in Ukraine and rising inflation rates.

As such, the company will halt salary increases for employees who have not been promoted, said Li, who added that the majority of the changes have been made.

Sea has also laid off more than 7,000 employees - or about 10 per cent of its workforce - as of December last year. 

Staff cuts were also made at Garena in September 2022, including the shutting down some major projects to boost Sea's profitability.

That same month, more Shopee employees were also laid off, with some of them having their job offers rescinded days before they began work.

Source: Bernama/CNA/fh(zl)

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