Shopee S'pore responds to allegations of workplace discrimination, says investigations ongoing

Some employees shared that there was a distinct preference for Chinese-speaking individuals in the company and during meetings.  

Lean Jinghui | November 27, 2021, 05:14 PM

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On Nov. 25, reports of toxic workplace culture and workplace discrimination at Shopee made the rounds on social media.

Instagram account @wakeupsingapore compiled a list of "scathing reviews" from what appeared to be past interviewees and current employees at the Singaporean multinational e-commerce company.

The allegations came from Glassdoor reviews, online comments, and text screenshots criticising Shopee as a workplace that is "toxic, racist, unprofessional, [and with] no work life balance."

At the time of writing, Shopee is given an overall rating of 3.7/5 on Glassdoor.


Unprofessional and racist

One interview candidate who had applied for the role of Business Development Executive shared that his interview with the hiring manager was "the most unprofessional" he had ever experienced, after a pleasant first and second round.

According to the interviewee, the hiring manager had regularly interrupted him during the interview process, and even explicitly disregarded some of his answers.

During the interview, the hiring manager had also allegedly dropped several insensitive questions pertaining to race and gender.

Via @wakeupsingapore Instagram

Toxic workplace culture

Others pointed to a "sweatshop" like culture in the office that is almost akin to the 996 culture in Chinese tech companies.

Some employees also added that there was a distinct preference for Chinese-speaking individuals in the company and during meetings, making it difficult for those who were not proficient in the language.

According to one employee, this made it feel like a "Chinese first" culture, with meetings generally carried out with Chinese bosses.

Via Glassdoor

Via Glassdoor

Via @wakeupsingapore Instagram

No work life balance

As a result of the "pressure cooker" environment, employees also shared that working overtime was the norm, and that there was reportedly little to no work life balance at Shopee.

This allegedly made attrition levels high in the company.

Via @wakeupsingapore Instagram

Among the higher-rated reviews for Shopee, this general sentiment about a lack of work life balance also appeared to carry over.

Via Glassdoor

Via Glassdoor

Shopee has replied to some one-star reviews:

Screenshot via Glassdoor

Screenshot via Glassdoor

"Zero tolerance for discrimination"

In response to the allegations, Shopee Singapore issued a Facebook statement on Nov. 26.

It said:

"We are aware of the recent allegations that have surfaced. Shopee Singapore takes these allegations very seriously. We have zero tolerance for discrimination or any form of workplace harassment and are conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. We are committed to providing a safe workplace for all our employees."

You can read the full Facebook post here, which has since garnered over 390 reacts and 160 shares:

Top image via Shopee Careers website