Editor’s note: the article has been updated.

E-commerce firm Lazada, the Southeast Asian arm of Alibaba Group, has laid off some staff from its Singapore office on Jan 3, according to local media The Edge Singapore.

Junior and senior employees from multiple departments, including the commercial and marketing teams, were affected, according to the report.

The Edge Singapore added that employees received calendar invites for individual meetings with the human resources department on Jan 3 at the end of the Jan 2 work day.

Lazada Singapore has also operated without an in-house communications department since last year. Lazada has yet to respond to TNGlobal‘s query at press time.

According to The Edge Singapore, Lazada and its parent company Alibaba have seen a slew of leadership changes since mid-2022. In June of the same year, Lazada’s CEO Li Chun was replaced by James Dong, the head of Alibaba’s Thailand business and former business assistant to Daniel Zhang, a former Alibaba CEO.

Zhang, in turn, announced in June 2023 that he would step down as CEO and chairman to focus on Alibaba’s cloud division from September 2023. Alibaba later announced Zhang’s departure after 16 years with the Chinese e-commerce giant.

According to Reuters’ earlier report, Lazada was founded in 2012 by Germany’s Rocket Internet technology incubator to become Southeast Asia’s answer to Amazon.com. Alibaba acquired a controlling stake in Lazada for about $1 billion in 2016 in what was the Chinese firm’s biggest foreign deal at that time, the report added.

In Southeast Asia, Lazada competes with Singapore-headquartered Shopee and Indonesia’s Tokopedia, among other online shopping platforms.

The news development came after several tech companies in Southeast Asia dismissed staff to stay afloat last year.

In March last year, it was reported that e-commerce giant Shopee has laid off around 200 employees in Indonesia, mostly from the customer services team. In the same month, Indonesia’s biggest tech firm PT Goto Gojek Tokopedia announced another round of layoffs to streamline the organisation and boosting the company’s profitability.

In June, Singapore-based super app Grab Holdings has cut 1,000 jobs. Its Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan said fundamental step-changes in its operating model and cost structure are needed to build Grab’s competitive moat for the longer-term.

It was reported in November that Malaysia-headquartered used car platform Carsome is said to have cut “hundreds of jobs” to reach profit.

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