E-commerce platform Shopee on March 28 announced that it will cease operations in India starting March 29. This decision comes just five months after the platform launched in India and a few weeks after another of Shopee-parent Sea's major undertaking, the Garena Free Fire game, was banned by Indian authorities. Within just weeks of its launch in October 2021, Shopee clocked 1,00,000 orders a day and had over a million app installs on the Google Play Store. This led to the platform being seen as a potential competitor to Amazon and Flipkart. But with this abrupt exit, many unanswered questions have emerged. Did the ban on Garena Free Fire influence this decision? The Indian government on February 14 banned 54 apps linked to China stating that they pose a threat to the privacy and security of Indians. Among these apps was the popular Garena Free Fire game owned by Sea Limited. Garena Free Fire is one of the most-downloaded games in both Google Play Store and Apple App Store and its inclusion in this ban list was strange because Sea is a Singapore-based company and the list mostly targeted Chinese apps. Following the ban, the market value of New York-listed Sea dropped by $16 billion in a single day leading to concerns among investors. The ban also forced the Singaporean government to intervene and seek an explanation from the Indian government. The Free Fire ban immediately raised fears that Sea's Shopee would also be banned under similar circumstances but neither the Indian government nor…
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