Ref: IMD-7-2337

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2337

Order this case study

Sea: A $140 Billion Hidden Alibaba?

Sea Limited, founded in Singapore in 2009, is a consumer internet company. It started out as Garena, a digital entertainment company (like Tencent), then expanded to e-commerce (like Alibaba), and then digital payments and financial services (like Ant Financial). The company, with its roots in China, was founded by Chinese entrepreneurs who built a business outside of China – a business they had become familiar with in China. Although it may have been impossible to do it in China, in Southeast Asia, it was still possible to win. However, since Southeast Asia was such a complex and diverse market, the company – copied from China – became a success only with extreme localization.

Learning Objective

• The importance of localization, and how to achieve real localization.
• Superapps and a multiplatform approach.
• Even the superstars that seemed to appear out of nowhere had to go through a process.
• China’s local rivalries had started to spill over.

Keywords Consumer, Digital Economy, Online Business
Settings South-Eastern Asia, Singapore
2009-2021
Type Published Sources
Copyright ©IMD 2021
Language English
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-2337

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.

Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Keep reading