Shopee, the largest ecommerce platform in Southeast Asia, was in an all out expansion mode (new markets, new verticals) in 2021 – and its parent Sea Group’s market cap briefly hit US$200 billion. 

2022 was a totally different matter. Its market cap is down almost 90%. Its headlines the entire year have been negative – geopolitics, product slowdown, people and profit issues, and probably most troubling – the rise of TikTok Shop.

To discuss some of the common questions and concerns from the community, Momentum Academy held an online event: “Off the Record: Shopee’s turbulent 2022” event on 17 November 2022. 

More than 400 investors, founders and corporate executives registered for the event. Progressively we are publishing some of the key points of the presentation. In the second part, we have looked into the question of whether Shopee’s investments in logistics and lending make sense. Now comes the third part:


Two big competitors of Shopee are Lazada and TikTok. There have been positive movements around Lazada this year. TikTok has expanded into multiple markets in South East Asia, where it pushes for volumes aggressively: 

To understand  what Lazada has done this year, one can take a look at four key men: Jiang Fan, former head of Taobao/Tmall who took over Alibaba’s oversea commerce retail and chairmanship of Lazada; Chun Li, who left his role as Lazada Group CEO and James Dong who succeeded him; as well as Magnus Ekbom, the last of the original Rocket founders who is finally leaving:  

Lazada has invested in Dana and Touch ‘n Go, digital wallets in Indonesia and Malaysia respectively that have been part of the Ant Group portfolio for a while. There were also talkings about expansion to Europe to compliment AliExpress: 

TikTok’s Chinese domestic cousin Douyin has been aggressively pushing up ecommerce GMV.  How long will they remain determined, and how fast can they learn?

For example, amongst the more than 1000 employees of TikTok in Jakarta, more than 80% focus on ecommerce operations (TikTok Shop). TikTok’s focus on ecommerce comes as it has pressure to monetise, while globals digital ads (another key revenue engine) has slowed down this year: 

TikTok Shop has expanded from only short videos and live streaming to a search-based marketplace, with an entry button on the home page. This means they are trying to morph from just content social commerce to a more search based ecommerce platform: 

When you talk about Lazada, Shopee or TikTok Shop, you also have to look at them in context or as part of the parent company. The relative importance of the these three businesses in their respective organizations is quite critical to their future developments as well:

So the question remains how committed are they? How does the cooperation with the parent company work? And how do internal and external circumstances change the project and its implementation?

Make your way to the next part to learn more about Shopee’s expansion in Europe. 

You can download a complimentary copy of the full presentation of Off the Record: Shopee’s Turbulent Year 2022 as well as our other reports for a behind-the-scenes look at Shopee and the future of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.

Find out more about the other topics discussed during the event: recap part 1/5, part 2/5, part 4/5, part 5/5. 

If you want to watch a replay of the event on our YouTube channel, click here. 

We also received a lot of interesting questions from participants which we have compiled and answered them – You can find them here.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].