Shopee Withdraws Job Offers After Foreign Applicants Arrived in Singapore

Shopee could soon find itself in some legal trouble for hastily rescinding a number of job offers.

Credit: Reuters

One of the prospective employees reportedly flew to Singapore from China, only to learn after landing that his position was no longer available. Another applicant, who travelled with his wife and dog, similarly got the call after already landing in the city-state.

These incidents have led to the formation of two rights-protection groups that look to hold Shopee accountable for inconveniencing job applicants. While it's not known how many are affected, one of the groups has over 60 members, while the other has over 200, some of whom are said to be employees from other companies extending their support. The two groups allege that the e-commerce giant breached its contract with its prospective employees when it withdrew their job offers in such a short period of time, making it potentially liable for negligence.

"Due to adjustments to hiring plans on some tech teams, a number of roles at Shopee are no longer available," Shopee explained to Tech in Asia. "We are working closely to support those affected."

The prospective employees expect to be compensated for losses based on their trust in the company. This includes the costs for onboarding, along with expenditures like the costs of travel and accommodation. They might also get one month's worth of salary for the inconvenience caused.

Credit: DB&B

The news comes just a couple of months after Shopee shuttered operations in India and announced it would conduct what was described as mass layoffs across its international offices. The Singapore-based Sea Group, the parent company of Shopee, did not elaborate on why it was downsizing. A lot of the cuts were from ShopeePay and ShopeeFood, which are said to be the two worst-performing areas of the company.

The timing of the recent rescinding of jobs with the previous layoffs seems to suggest Shopee has been streamlining its workforce and cutting costs where it can. If that's the case, then it's one of many tech companies that have recently been slowing down new hires, if not outright letting go of employees, to prepare for the year's economic uncertainties.

  • Shopee reportedly rescinded a number of job offers, inconveniencing a group of prospective employees, some of whom aren't based in Singapore, where they were supposed to onboard.

  • The incidents have led to the formation of two rights-protection groups that look to hold Shopee accountable for its seemingly last-minute decision on the now-rescinded positions.

  • The e-commerce giant said it plans to work with those affected and compensate them for any trouble or damage that has been caused.