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Founded2015; 5 years ago (2015)
Headquarters5 Science Park Drive, Shopee Building, Singapore 118265
Area served
Key people
Chris Feng (CEO)[1]
Number of employees
ParentSea Group (NYSESE) (Singapore) (Malaysia) (Philippines) (Indonesia)
(Taiwan) (Thailand)

Shopee is a Singaporean e-commerce platform headquartered under Sea Group (previously known as Garena), which is a global consumer internet company founded in 2015 by Forrest Li.[2] Shopee first launched in Singapore in 2015, and since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brazil.[3][4] It serves users in Southeast Asia and Taiwan to buy and sell products online.[5] Due to the mobile and social element built within the concept, Shopee was described as one of the "5 disruptive ecommerce startups we saw in 2015" by Tech In Asia.[6]


In 2015, Shopee launched in Singapore as a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users can browse, shop and sell on the go.[7] Integrated with logistical and payment support, the asset-light platform aims to make online shopping easy and secure for both sellers and buyers.[8][9]

Soon after, the app-based platform launched a website to rival other fast growing e-commerce websites in the region like Lazada, Tokopedia and AliExpress. To differentiate itself, Shopee offers online shopping security through its own escrow service called "Shopee Guarantee",[3] where it withholds payment to sellers until buyers have received their orders.[6]

On 3 September 2019, Shopee officially opened its new six-storey regional headquarters at Singapore Science Park. The new building has 244,000 square feet (22,700 m2) of space, which can accommodate 3,000 employees and is six times larger than the previous headquarters at Ascent Building. The building was previously tenanted by WeWork in Singapore. The co-working space giant that has presence at more than 700 locations globally as of 2020. The lease was subsequently relinquished to Shoppee due to its rapid expansion. By doing so, it strengthens its push into the digital economy.[10][11]

Business model[edit]

Shopee first started as primarily a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace but has since moved into both a C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) hybrid model.[12]

Shopee partners with over 70 courier service providers across its markets to provide logistical support for its users.[13] In Singapore, it collaborated with logistics startup, NinjaVan, for item pickup and delivery.[14] Other delivery partners in the region include Pos Malaysia[15] and Pos Indonesia.[16]

Market share[edit]

As of 2019, the platform recorded 200 million downloads. Shopee also saw gross orders jumping 92.7% to 246.3 million in Q2 2019, compared to 127.8 million a year ago. Its gross merchandise value also surged 72.7% to US$3.8bil in 2Q19 from US$2.2bil a year ago. [17]

According to iPrice's 21 2019 e-commerce report, Shopee was the top Shopping App by Monthly Active Users, Total Downloads and Websites with the Most Visits, ahead of its competitors, Lazada and Tokopedia. [18]

These GMV claims have also led to backlash by Alibaba-backed competitor, Lazada. The former CEO, Max Bittner asserted that GMV numbers can be easily inflated "by subsidy schemes and history shows that GMV falls away as unhealthy subsidies are removed."[19]

Nonetheless, in Malaysia, Shopee became the 3rd most visited e-commerce portal in Q4 2017, replacing Lelong and "overtook Lazada to rank as the best app on both Google Play and iOS App stores."[20]

Similarly among consumers in Indonesia, a survey conducted in December 2017 by theAsianparent revealed that "for Indonesian mothers, Shopee is a first choice shopping platform (73%), followed by Tokopedia (54%), Lazada (51%) and Instagram (50%)."[21]

New launches[edit]

In 2016, Shopee launched an initiative called "Shopee University", a series of workshops and tutorials to aid local entrepreneurs and businesses in setting up their online businesses in the Philippines.[22]

In 2017, Shopee launched Shopee Mall with 200 brands in Singapore. The dedicated portal features thousands of products sold by leading brands and retailers in the region. Shopee Mall was created to offer a more diverse online shopping experience, and to better cater to larger brands looking to pursue an omni-channel approach.[23]

In 2018, Shopee launched the China Marketplace portal that offers shoppers easy access to products from Chinese merchants, without any shipping and agent fees in Singapore. This portal directly competes with Lazada's Taobao Collection option.[24]

Brand ambassadors[edit]

In 2018, Shopee appointed Blackpink as its first-ever regional brand ambassador, as part of its partnership with YG Group. Bambam of Got7 was also appointed as the brand ambassador in Thailand in October of the same year. [25]

In 2019, Shopee secured a partnership with global football icon Cristiano Ronaldo as its regional brand ambassador. The partnership was announced in line with Shopee's signature annual shopping event, 9.9 Super Shopping Day. [26]


Shopee's parent company, Sea Group, filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in October 2017 for US$1 billion.[27] Tencent is the main beneficiary of the Sea listing with a 39.7% share while Blue Dolphins Venture — an organization set up by founder Forrest Li — holds 15%. Li himself has 20%, and Chief Technology Officer, Gang Ye holds 10%.[28]


In 2015, Shopee was awarded the Singapore Startup Of The Year in the second edition of Vulcan Awards, presented by Singaporean digital publisher, Vulcan Post.[29]


In June 2019, #ShopeeScam trended on Twitter[30] worldwide after Shopee Philippines allegedly scammed Filipino fans of South Korean girl group Blackpink. Shopee Philippines released a promotion that offered passes to a Meet and Greet event for the 568 Top Spenders in their online store.[31] However, several fans reported receiving notifications that they won tickets but Shopee retracting them later on. Others posted screenshots that showed Shopee changing their contest mechanics the day before the event. Shopee is now under investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1], "Garena Rebrands as Sea After Raising $550 Million in New Funding". Bloomberg. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018
  3. ^ a b [2], "Garena’s Shopee could be on its way to beating Carousell in Asia". Tech In Asia. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2017
  4. ^ [3], "Shopee launches online store in Brazil". Tech In Asia. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019
  5. ^ [4], "Shopee: Localizing Ecommerce in Southeast Asia and Taiwan". Econsultancy. March 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b [5], "5 disruptive ecommerce startups we saw in 2015". Tech In Asia. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2018
  7. ^ [6], "Garena And Its Quest To Take Down Carousell With Newly Launched Shopee App". Vulcan Post. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2018
  8. ^ [7], "Safe, easy shopping with Shopee". The Straits Times. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2018
  9. ^ [8], "How Shopee plans to reign supreme in Southeast Asia’s fashion ecommerce scene". Tech In Asia. 06 November 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017
  10. ^ Heng, Melissa (3 September 2019). "Shopee opens new regional HQ in line with Singapore's push into digital economy". The Straits Times. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Grand Opening of Shopee Headquarters Building". PMO. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  12. ^ [9], "The Natural Progression of C2C Business Models, Garena Shopee’s Venture into B2C". ecommerce IQ. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  13. ^ [10], "Sea Limited Form F-1". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017
  14. ^ [11], "CEO Chris Feng On Shopee's Rise In Southeast Asia, & Avoiding Carouhell". Vulcan Post. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2018
  15. ^ [12], "Shopee partners up with Pos Malaysia". Marketing Interactive. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018
  16. ^ [13], "Bizzy acquires Alpha; Shopee partners Pos Indonesia". Deal Street Asia. 10 May 2017.
  17. ^ "e-commerce platform Shopee confident of sustaining strong growth". The Star Online. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  18. ^ "iPrice report has Shopee down as the most popular shopping platform in Southeast Asia". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  19. ^ [14], "Lazada slams Sea's claim that Shopee is the top regional ecommerce player". Tech In Asia. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2018
  20. ^ [15], "Who leads e-commerce in Malaysia? Lazada or Shopee?" e27. 21 March 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018
  21. ^ [16], "Shopee found to be the most popular e-commerce site for Indonesian mothers". Marketing Interactive. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018
  22. ^ [17], "Shopee teams up with Facebook to help leading retail brands strengthen their eCommerce presence". Manila Bulletin. 07 September 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017
  23. ^ [18], "Shopee opens online mall for consumers". Singapore Business Review. 18 July 2017. Retrieved on 10 December 2017
  24. ^ [19], "Shopee launches China Marketplace portal with free shipping to rival Lazada". Business Insider Singapore. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018
  25. ^ Tan, Janice (2018-11-30). "Shopee taps K-pop group BLACKPINK as first-ever regional brand ambassador". Marketing Interactive. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  26. ^ "Cristiano Ronaldo signs on with Asian e-commerce platform Shopee". FOX Sports Asia. 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  27. ^ [20], "Garena Rebrands as Sea After Raising $550 Million in New Funding". Bloomberg. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018
  28. ^ [21], "Southeast Asia games firm Sea, formerly Garena, files for $1 billion US IPO". TechCrunch. 24 September 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017
  29. ^ [22], "The Winners Of The 2015 Vulcan Awards: GrabTaxi, Airbnb, WhatsApp & More!" Vulcan Post. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  30. ^ "#SHOPEESCAM hashtag on Twitter".
  31. ^ "#ShopeeScam trends on Twitter as BLACKPINK returns to PH for meet and greet". Rappler.
  32. ^ "Online store Shopee probed for BLACKPINK promo". Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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