SEA: A $140 billion hidden Alibaba?
Case Study

SEA: A $140 billion hidden Alibaba?

8 pages
December 2021
Reference: IMD-7-2337

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
Entertainment, eCommerce, Internet, Application Development, Retail, Digital, Technology Management, Strategy
Settings
Singapore
Sea Limited, Internet, eCommerce, Entertainment
2009-2021
Type
Published Sources
Copyright
© IMD 2021
Language
English
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