Online firm said to lay off Filipino employees

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Online retailer Lazada.com.ph has cut a significant part of its workforce less than six months after it started operations.

A source familiar with the matter said that 60 workers were given notices on Friday that their employment with the company would end in two weeks.

The source did not specify the reasons for the termination.

Employees affected were in various management and rank-and-file positions.

Another source who refused to be identified said affected workers would be given a month’s salary as separation pay.

Lazada, which was described by Singaporean start-up industry publication SGentrepreurs.com as a “clone” of United States-based Amazon.com, was launched in Southeast Asia last March.

Lazada, owned by German incubator firm Rocket Internet GmbH, had as much as 260 employees when it started out earlier this year. But reports say layoffs at Lazada and its local sister firms have been going on for months.

Rocket Internet also has Lazada websites in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Its sister firm Zalora, which sells clothes online, has operations in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

A Lazada spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the news when contacted by the Inquirer for comment.

Rocket Internet has been criticized in the past as a company that makes money setting up clones of online businesses that have succeeded in other countries. The company has also received flak for its aggressive hire-and-fire practices.

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