SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore’s e-commerce giant Sea will freeze salaries for most employees and pay out lower bonuses this year as part of measures to prepare for a “worsening global economic environment” in 2023, according to reports on Thursday.
Sea is the parent company of gaming unit Garena and e-commerce platform Shopee.
Bloomberg 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 next year “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.
According to reports, Li said, “I know such news can be hard to bear, especially around the holiday season. These are temporary but necessary measures to help us build toward a bigger, brighter future.”
After the announcement was made, Sea’s shares dropped more than four per cent.
Over the past few months, Sea has laid off more than 7,000 employees – or about 10 per cent of its workforce.
Staff cuts were also made at Garena in September 2022, including shutting down some major projects to boost Sea’s profitability.