20-F 1 brhc10036000_20f.htm 20-F

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
_______________________

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from  ____________   to   ____________
OR
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report

Commission file number: 001-38237

Sea Limited
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 _______________________

N/A
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Cayman Islands
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

1 Fusionopolis Place, #17-10, Galaxis
Singapore 138522
(Address of principal executive offices)

Yanjun Wang, Esq.
Sea Limited
1 Fusionopolis Place, #17-10, Galaxis
Singapore 138522
Tel: +65 6270-8100
E-mail: secnotice@sea.com
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class
Trading Symbol
Name of each exchange on which registered
American Depositary Shares, each representing one Class A ordinary share
SE
New York Stock Exchange 
Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0005 per share*
   
* Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing of American Depositary Shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
   

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the Issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
409,762,257 Class A ordinary shares and 147,975,703 Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0005 per share, as of December 31, 2021



Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes       No 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  ☒   No  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer 
Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer 
Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards † provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP       International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board      Other 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17      Item 18 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No 

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.    Yes      No 
 ___________________________

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.



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CONVENTIONS THAT APPLY TO THIS ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 20-F
 
Unless otherwise indicated and except where the context otherwise requires:
 

“2023 convertible notes” refers to our 2.25% convertible senior notes due 2023, which were issued in June 2018;
 

“2024 convertible notes” refers to our 1.00% convertible senior notes due 2024, which were issued in November 2019;
 

“2025 convertible notes” refers to our 2.375% convertible senior notes due 2025, which were issued in May 2020;
 

“2026 convertible notes” refers to our 0.25% convertible senior notes due 2026, which were issued in September 2021;
 

“active users” in the context of digital entertainment refers to the number of unique accounts that interacted with our mobile and PC online games in a particular period. A single account that plays more than one online game or in more than one market is counted as more than one active user. “Game QAUs” refers to the aggregate number of active users during the quarterly period;
 

“ADSs” refers to the American Depositary Shares, each of which represents one of our Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0005 per share;
 

“China” or “PRC” refers to the People’s Republic of China excluding, for the purpose of this annual report only, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau;
 

“gross merchandise value” or “GMV” refers to the value of orders of products and services on our Shopee marketplace. Our calculation of GMV for our e-commerce platform includes shipping and other charges;
 

“orders” refers to each confirmed order from a transaction between a buyer and a seller for products and services on our e-commerce platform, even if such order includes multiple items, during the specified period, regardless of whether the transaction is settled or if the item is returned;
 

“paying users” refers to the number of unique accounts through which a payment is made in our online games in a particular period. A unique account through which payments are made in more than one online game or in more than one market is counted as more than one paying user. “Game QPUs” refers to the aggregate number of paying users during the quarterly period;
 

“SeaMoney QAUs” refers to users who had at least one financial transaction with SeaMoney products and services during the quarterly period. Transactions include payments or receipts with our mobile wallet, loan disbursements, maintenance of balance in our banks or purchase of insurance policies on the Shopee platform;
 

“shares” or “ordinary shares” refer to our Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0005 per share, and our Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0005 per share;
 

“Southeast Asia” refers to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and
 

“we,” “us,” “our company,” “our group,” “our” or “Sea” refers to Sea Limited, a Cayman Islands company, its consolidated subsidiaries and its consolidated affiliated entities, including its variable interest entities, or VIEs, and their subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities.
 
Our reporting and functional currency is the U.S. dollar. This annual report contains translations of certain foreign currency amounts into U.S. dollars for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from Indonesian rupiah into U.S. dollars have been made at the rate of IDR14,278.00 to US$1.00, being the foreign exchange reference rate and the Jakarta interbank spot dollar rate published by the Bank Indonesia in effect as of December 31, 2021, all translations of New Taiwan dollars, Thai baht, Singapore dollars and Malaysia ringgit into U.S. dollars have been made at the rates of NT$27.7400 to US$1.00, THB33.3300 to US$1.00, S$1.3520 to US$1.00 and RM4.1750 to US$1.00, respectively, being the noon buying rates in The City of New York for cable transfers in New Taiwan dollars, Thai baht, Singapore dollars and Malaysia ringgit as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in effect as of December 30, 2021 set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board for translation into U.S. dollars, and all translations from Vietnamese dong into U.S. dollars made at the rate of VND23,145 to US$1.00, being the central rate published by The State Bank of Vietnam in effect as of December 31, 2021. We make no representation that the Indonesian rupiah, New Taiwan dollar, Vietnamese dong, Thai baht, Singapore dollar or Malaysia ringgit amounts referred to in this annual report could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars at any particular rate or at all. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may adversely affect our operational and financial results, which we report in U.S. dollars.” On April 5, 2022, the Jakarta interbank spot dollar rate for Indonesian rupiah was IDR14,348.00 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate for New Taiwan dollars was NT$28.67 to US$1.00, the central rate for Vietnamese dong was VND23,098 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate for Thai baht was THB33.5100 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate for Singapore dollars was S$1.3585 to US$1.00 and the noon buying rate for Malaysia ringgit was RM4.2072 to US$1.00.
 
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
This annual report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of current or historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made under the “safe harbor” provision under Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors,” that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
 
In some cases, you can identify these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “likely to,” “potential” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include statements about:
 

our goals and strategies;
 

our future business development, financial condition, financial results, and results of operations;
 

the expected growth in, and market size of, the digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services industries in the markets where we operate, including segments within those industries;
 

expected changes or guidance in our revenue, costs or expenditures;
 

our ability to continue to source, develop and offer new and attractive online games and to offer other engaging digital entertainment content;
 

the expected growth of our digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services businesses;
 

our expectations regarding growth in our user base, level of engagement and monetization;
 

our ability to continue to develop new technologies and/or upgrade our existing technologies;
 

our expectation regarding the use of proceeds from our financing activities, including our follow-on equity offerings and convertible notes offerings;
 

growth and trends of our markets and competition in our industries;
 

government policies and regulations relating to our industries, including the effects of any government orders or actions on our businesses;
 

general economic, political, social and business conditions in our markets; and
 

the impact of widespread health developments, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the responses thereto (such as voluntary and in some cases, mandatory quarantines as well as shut downs and other restrictions on travel and commercial, social and other activities, and the availability of effective vaccines or treatments) and the impact of economies reopening further to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
You should read this annual report with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors which could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.
 
You should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
 
This annual report also contains statistical data and estimates that we obtained from industry publications and reports generated by government or third-party providers of market intelligence. Although we have not independently verified the data, we believe that the publications and reports are reliable. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—Industry data, projections and estimates contained in this annual report are inherently uncertain and subject to interpretation.”
 
PART I
 
ITEM 1.
IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2.
OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 3.
KEY INFORMATION
 
A.          [Reserved]
 
B.          Capitalization and Indebtedness
 
Not applicable.
 
C.          Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
 
Not applicable.
 
D.          Risk Factors
 
SUMMARY OF RISK FACTORS
 
We believe some of the major risks and uncertainties that may materially and adversely affect us include the following:
 
BUSINESS AND OPERATIONAL RELATED RISKS
 
Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses
 

We may fail to maintain or grow the size of our user base or the level of engagement of our users.
 

Changes in economic, political or social conditions or government policies, or government actions or restrictions, globally and in our markets could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
 

We have a history of net losses and we may not achieve profitability in the future.
 

Our results of operations are subject to fluctuations.
 

We may fail to monetize our businesses effectively.
 

The COVID-19 pandemic, including any lockdown and reopening of relevant markets, has affected our business activities and results. Any future occurrence of natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks, or other catastrophic events could also adversely affect our business.
 

We may not succeed in managing or expanding our business across the expansive and diverse markets in which we operate.
 

We are subject to extensive and changing laws and government regulations across our business.
 

We may fail to compete effectively.
 

Existing or future investments or acquisitions may not be successful.
 

We have a limited operating history for some of our businesses.
 

Our businesses involve third parties over whose actions we have no control.
 

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may adversely affect our operational and financial results, which we report in U.S. dollars.
 

We may be subject to intellectual property-related risks.
 

We may be liable for security breaches and attacks against our or our third-party partners’ platforms and network, particularly with regard to confidential user information and personal or other data or any other privacy or data protection compliance issue, and our platforms and games may contain unforeseen “bugs” or errors.
 

We collect, process, transmit, and store personal information in connection with the operation of our businesses and are subject to complex and evolving international laws and regulations regarding privacy and data protection.
 
Risks Related to Our Digital Entertainment Business
 

We derive a significant portion of digital entertainment revenue and gross profit from a limited number of online games.


We have a limited track record in game development and global game distribution.
 

We rely on third-party game developers for some of our digital entertainment content and also allow our users to contribute and interact with user generated content.
 

Our games are subject to scrutiny regarding the appropriateness of their content.
 
Risks Related to Our E-Commerce Business
 

We face uncertainties relating to the growth and profitability of the e-commerce industry in our markets and we may face challenges and uncertainties in implementing our e-commerce strategy.
 

We may be held liable for actions by our marketplace participants.
 

We may suffer losses relating to the products we sell on Shopee.
 
Risks Related to Our Digital Financial Services Business
 

We face uncertainties and risks relating to our digital financial services business.
 

We face risks related to our lending and consumer and merchant credit businesses.
 

Our banking business may subject us to additional material business, operational, financial, legal and compliance requirements and risks.
 

We could be held liable if our digital financial services and products are used for fraudulent, illegal or improper purposes.
 
Other Operational Risks
 

We rely on technology and internet infrastructure, data center and cloud service providers and telecommunications networks in the markets where we operate.
 

We may fail to attract, motivate and retain the key members of our management team or other experienced and capable employees.
 

We may be subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory proceedings.
 

We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.
 
BUSINESS AND OPERATIONAL RELATED RISKS
 
Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses

We may fail to maintain or grow the size of our user base or the level of engagement of our users.
 
The size and engagement level of our user base are critical to our success. Our business and financial performance have been and will continue to be significantly determined by our success in adding, retaining and engaging active users. We continue to invest significant resources to grow our user base and increase user engagement, whether through innovations, providing new or improved content or services, marketing efforts or other means. Our user base and engagement levels may not continue growing at satisfactory rates, or at all. Our user growth and engagement could be adversely affected if:
 

we fail to maintain the popularity of our platforms among users;
 

we are unable to maintain the quality of our existing content and services;
 

we are unsuccessful in innovating or introducing new, best-in-class content and services;
 

we fail to adapt to changes in user preferences, market trends or advancements in technology;
 

technical, regulatory, governmental or other reasons prevent us from delivering our content or services in a timely and reliable manner, or at all, or otherwise affect the user experience;
 

there are user concerns related to privacy, data protection, safety, fund security or other factors;
 

monetization measures by us cause users to shift to other platforms;
 

our new games cause players to shift from our existing games without growing the overall size of our user base or online games platform;
 

there are adverse changes to our platforms or offerings that are mandated by, or that we elect to make, to address legislation, regulation, government orders, or litigation, including settlements or consent decrees;
 

our users fail to accept or comply with our terms of service or the privacy policies that we have implemented or may implement, or we adopt terms, policies, or procedures that are perceived negatively by our users;
 

our marketing campaigns or promotional strategies fail to achieve the intended effects among users – for example, users may develop negative perceptions towards our marketing campaigns or promotional strategies;
 

we are unable to achieve the expected synergies among our businesses, we are unable to achieve synergies in a cost-effective manner, or we fail to balance the interests of all participants in our ecosystem;
 

we fail to maintain the brand image of our platforms or our reputation is damaged or changes negatively; or
 

there are unexpected changes to the demographic trends or economic development of or affecting our markets.
 
Our efforts to avoid or address any of these events could require us to incur substantial expenditure to modify or adapt our content, services or platforms. We may not be able to avoid or address such events in a timely or satisfactory manner or at all. If we fail to retain or continue growing our user base, or if our users reduce their engagement with our platforms, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
 
Changes in economic, political or social conditions or government policies, or government actions or restrictions, globally and in our markets could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
 
We have businesses in diverse global markets and are subject to risks associated with doing business internationally and in differing political and regulatory environments.
 
Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic and social conditions globally and in these markets. The economies in emerging markets generally differ from developed markets in many respects, including the level of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange, government policy on public order and allocation of resources. In some of our markets, governments continue to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. Some local governments also exercise significant control over the economic growth and public order in their respective jurisdictions through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policies, and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. Governmental actions to control inflation and other policies and regulations have often involved, among other measures, price controls, currency devaluations, capital controls and limits on imports. Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in government policies or regulations, such as exchange rates and exchange control policies, inflation rates, interest rates, tariff and inflation control policies, price control policies, import duties and restrictions, liquidity of domestic capital and lending markets, electricity rationing tax policies, including royalty, tax increases and retroactive tax claims, and other political, diplomatic, social and economic developments in or affecting the markets where we operate.
 
Growth of the economy of our various markets has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. Any adverse changes in economic conditions in our markets or neighboring regions, or in the policies of the governments or of the laws and regulations in each respective market could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of our markets. Such developments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, lead to reduction in demand for our products and services, and adversely affect our competitive position. Many of the governments in our markets have implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over foreign capital investments or changes in tax regulations. Some of our markets have historically experienced low growth in their gross domestic product, or GDP, significant inflation and/or shortages of foreign exchange. We are exposed to the risk of cost increases due to potential inflation in the markets in which we operate. In the past, governments in some of our markets have implemented interest rate adjustments, currency trading band adjustments, exchange rate controls and other measures to control the pace of economic growth. These measures, or the perception that any of them could occur, may cause decreased economic activity in the relevant markets, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Some of our markets have experienced, and may in the future experience, political, economic and social instability, including strikes, demonstrations, protests, marches, other types of civil disorder, war or armed conflict, refugee migration or other types of unrests. For example, most recently, the ongoing geopolitical tensions related to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, resulting sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries, retaliatory actions taken by Russia in response to such sanctions, bans and other measures taken by governments, organizations and companies including against Russia and certain Russia citizens and entities, are events that continue to evolve. It is possible that political, economic and social instability globally and in our markets may negatively impact economic growth, cause uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets, disrupt supply chains globally and in our markets, and may accordingly affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We cannot predict the duration or outcome of these events and actions or whether future developments would have any material adverse impact on our business. These and other instabilities and any adverse changes in the political environment could increase our costs, increase our exposure to legal and business risks, disrupt our office operations or the business activities of our ecosystem participants, or affect our ability to expand or retain our user base.
 
In addition, governments or government agencies in any of our markets could censor, ban or block access to our services, mobile applications, platforms and/or the internet generally for various reasons, including political tensions and wars between countries, content restrictions, national security, data protection or regulatory concerns, or due to some misunderstanding. For example, we announced earlier this year that due to unanticipated government actions, Free Fire was currently unavailable in the Google Play and iOS app stores in India, and it currently remains unavailable. Users generally need to access the internet and/or app stores to access, download or use our services and mobile applications. If governments either directly or indirectly block, limit or otherwise restrict us from publishing or making available our products and services to users, block, limit or restrict our users from accessing our products, services or mobile applications, prevent us from onboarding new users, prevent data transfers to or from certain markets or services, or take similar actions against us, our business could be negatively impacted, and we could experience loss or slower growth of our user base, financial loss, and our reputation may be adversely affected. Further, any government actions taken against our service providers, partners or other third-party intermediaries on which our business relies could cause our products and services to become unavailable for extended periods of time or even indefinitely.
 
Governments or government agencies may take legislative, executive, administrative or other measures or implement policies to regulate foreign investments, including applying heightened scrutiny, imposing additional requirements, prohibitions and restrictions on investments by companies based on the place of incorporation or country of origin of such companies or their shareholders and/or beneficial owners or where companies have employees or service providers, store data or develop or provide their products and services. Any adverse implementation or changes in foreign investment restrictions or interpretations against us of such restrictions in our markets may affect our ability to operate and maintain our business in such markets. In the event of such restrictions, we may face additional legal and regulatory compliance costs and risks, lose investments we have made and/or exit such markets, our users may develop a negative perception of us, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively affected.
 
We have a history of net losses and we may not achieve profitability in the future.
 
We had net losses of US$1.5 billion, US$1.6 billion and US$2.0 billion in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Our net losses in 2021 were primarily due to our investments in expanding our businesses, in particular our e-commerce and digital financial services businesses. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, our sales and marketing expenses equaled 44.6%, 41.8% and 38.5% of our total revenue, respectively. Our operating expenses may continue to increase as we invest in expanding our businesses, including, among other things, offering user incentives, conducting marketing activities, providing new content and services, and hiring additional headcount. These efforts may be costlier than we expect and our revenue may not increase sufficiently to offset these expenses.
 
We may continue to take actions and make investments that do not generate immediate positive financial returns and may result in increased operating losses or other losses in the short term with no assurance that we will eventually achieve the intended long-term benefits or profitability. These factors, among others set out in this “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” section, may negatively affect our ability to achieve profitability in the near term, if at all.
 
Our results of operations are subject to fluctuations.
 
We are subject to seasonality and other fluctuations in our business. Our revenue is also largely affected by our promotional and marketing activities, including the timing of promotions, and our revenue may fluctuate due to changes in user base, user engagement, user behavior and preferences, and other factors. In addition, our rapid growth in the past has masked certain fluctuations that otherwise may have been apparent in our results of operations. When our growth stabilizes, the seasonality in our business may become more pronounced. Rapid growth may also put strain on our existing resources due to increased capital expenditures and operating expenses related to our expansion, including sales and marketing expenses, staff hiring and procurement of infrastructure. See “—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—We may not succeed in managing or expanding our business across the expansive and diverse markets in which we operate.”
 
Our revenue and other operating results may vary significantly from quarter to quarter due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside our control. Factors that may contribute to the fluctuations of our results include, among others, (i) fluctuations and changes in overall consumer demand for our products and services in certain markets or overall or during certain months and holidays, including calendar year-end holiday season, or due to certain short-lived consumer trends, hypes or other factors; (ii) timing of new products and services releases and monetization rates of our products and services or content enhancements in different markets; (iii) increases in sales and marketing and other operating expenses; (iv) timing of promotional and marketing activities; (v) macro-economic conditions and their effect on consumer spending; (vi) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and (vii) other risk factors as described in this annual report. With many economies reopening further in the fourth quarter of 2021 and into 2022, we have observed some moderation in online activities and fluctuations in user engagement. For example, our digital entertainment segment bookings decreased in the fourth quarter of 2021 for the first time in the past three years, and we provided guidance for our digital entertainment segment bookings for the year 2022 that is lower than comparable bookings for the year 2021. Our businesses may not grow as fast as in the past years or at all. Should our businesses experience a slowdown in growth, there could be material fluctuations in our financial results, which could negatively affect our stock performance. In addition, changes in cash flow generated from our games may not match our revenue trends due to revenue recognition policies under U.S. GAAP, which require proceeds from our sales of in-game virtual items to be recorded as deferred revenue and recognized over a period of time based on estimated service periods. As deferred revenue contributes a significant amount of the revenue we report each quarter, a decrease in bookings in any one quarter may not significantly reduce our revenues for that quarter but could negatively affect our revenues in future quarters or periods. Accordingly, the effect of declines in our bookings are not fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods.
 
Our 2023 convertible notes, 2024 convertible notes, 2025 convertible notes, and 2026 convertible notes were each subject to cash conversion accounting through to December 31, 2021. The liability component of the 2023 convertible notes, the 2024 convertible notes, the 2025 convertible notes and the 2026 convertible notes was initially measured at fair value with the residual value recorded as additional paid-in capital within equity. The liability component would require a greater amount of non-cash interest expense to accrete the carrying value back to the face value over the term of the notes. From January 1, 2022, we adopted new accounting standards for our convertible notes, under which cash conversion accounting no longer applies. We have adopted the modified retrospective approach and cumulative effects will be adjusted via our retained earnings opening balance. Such adoption is expected to reduce the additional paid-in capital and accumulated deficit, and increase our convertible notes balances. Such adoption will also result in reduction in interest expense in subsequent years until the relevant convertible notes are settled. Because of these and other factors, it is difficult for us to accurately identify recurring seasonal trends in our business. Accordingly, you should not rely on quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our results of operations as an indication of our future performance.
 
We may fail to monetize our businesses effectively.
 
Our financial performance largely depends on our ability to monetize our businesses, and our failure to do so could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
In order to sustain revenue growth for our digital entertainment business, we must maintain paying users and convert active game players to paying users and increase their spending. Spending in our games is discretionary and our users may be price-sensitive, which may negatively affect our ability to monetize our business. It is crucial to balance creating sufficient in-game monetization opportunities on the one hand, and ensuring our games continue to attract a considerable number of users by offering them an enjoyable free-to-play experience on the other. To stimulate in-game spending, we need to continue to ensure that our games are engaging, the in-game items we offer are appealing, our monetization strategies comply with applicable laws and regulations, our prices are attractive and our marketing and promotional activities, such as esports events, are effective.
 
Our focus for our e-commerce business has been on building the ecosystem of sellers and buyers and improving the shopping experience. We monetize Shopee mainly by offering sellers paid advertising services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics. If our efforts to monetize our e-commerce business are not successful, revenue generated from monetizing our Shopee marketplace may not offset its significant operating costs, causing it to operate with losses. Moreover, monetization efforts could increase the costs of using our Shopee platform to users, which could negatively affect the number of users and the level of user engagement on our platform.
 
We mainly monetize our digital financial services business by charging commissions to third-party merchants with respect to our mobile wallet services, by charging fees to third-party financial institutions which offer financial products or lend to consumers on our platform, and by earning interest from borrowers with respect to our consumer and merchant credit business. Our ability to continue to successfully monetize our digital financial services business in the future will depend significantly on expanding our user base, the number of use cases available, strengths of our credit modeling, and the availability of funds for our consumer and merchant credit business, which may not be achieved at the level we anticipate. In addition, we may offer new digital financial services and products or offer existing services and products to new markets. Our monetization efforts or our expansion into new services, including credit, digital banking and insurtech, on our digital financial services platform may not succeed or generate revenue at levels we expect, or at all.
 
For all our businesses, we invest in better understanding our users and their preferences. This allows us to introduce content and services that are appealing to paying users on all our platforms and to properly deploy and price content and services to enhance our monetization. However, if we fail to properly interpret user preferences or convert our understanding into effective business strategies, our monetization may not be successful.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic, including any lockdown and reopening of relevant markets, has affected our business activities and results. Any future occurrence of natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks, or other catastrophic events could also adversely affect our business.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to contain its spread have from time to time resulted in business and manufacturing disruptions in our markets, impacted the business activities of our ecosystem participants, and disrupted the global supply chain including those of our sellers on our platform and merchant partners. For example, regional and global logistic costs had temporarily increased due to COVID-19 effects, and there have been disruptions or delays relating to delivery fulfilment and shipments in certain markets. Our users’ spending power may also be negatively affected if the global or local economies are negatively affected. We are unable to predict the continuing duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any potential future waves of the pandemic due to existing or new variants of the virus, the availability and effectiveness of vaccines and treatments, and the actions that have been and continue to be taken by authorities and other parties in our ecosystem in response to COVID-19 developments.

COVID-19 has affected and may continue to affect our businesses and our users’ behaviors. With many economies reopening further in the fourth quarter of 2021 and into 2022, we have observed some moderation in online activities and fluctuations in user engagement in our businesses. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on our users and ecosystem participants remain uncertain. Relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions may decrease the inclination of users to remain at home, make physical stores or activities more attractive, and alter the usage and spending habits of our users. Accordingly, the trends we saw with respect to our revenues and other financial results and operating metrics during COVID-19 impacted periods may not be indicative of results for future periods.
 
Similarly, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by severe weather conditions, natural disasters, geopolitical events, terrorist attacks, wars, sanctions, the occurrence or re-occurrence of other outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics, including avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, the influenza A (H1N1) or H7N9, and other catastrophic events that disrupt our operations, adversely affect our markets or the economy generally or adversely affect our employees, third-party service providers, business partners or a significant portion of our users.
 
We may not succeed in managing or expanding our business across the expansive and diverse markets in which we operate.
 
Our business has become increasingly complex as we have expanded the scale of our operations and the markets in which we operate. We have significantly expanded and expect to continue to expand our business operations, headcount, office facilities and infrastructure across more markets. Our game and e-commerce operations have expanded beyond our traditional markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Free Fire is currently available in more than 130 markets, and has a large user base in Southeast Asia and Latin America. We have opened offices and hired local staff in Latin America to focus on Latin America’s local game operations and community engagement. In 2021, we expanded our Shopee business to new markets in Latin America such as Mexico, Chile and Colombia, and to Poland and Spain. When opportunities arise, we may further expand our geographic coverage and offer more products beyond our existing offerings. It is costly to establish, develop and maintain international operations, adapt our business model to new or diverse regulatory environments and to promote our brand internationally. Our international operations may not become profitable on a sustainable basis, if at all. As our operations continue to expand, our technology infrastructure systems and corporate, legal and compliance functions will need to be scaled to support our operations, and if they fail to do so, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be negatively affected.
 
The markets where we operate or expand to are diverse and unique, with varying levels of economic and infrastructure development and distinct legal and regulatory systems, and do not operate seamlessly across borders as a single or common market. Managing our growing businesses across these markets requires considerable management attention and resources. Our growing multi-market operations also require certain additional costs, including costs relating to staffing, logistics, intellectual property protection, regulatory and compliance, tariffs and other trade barriers and higher tax rates in certain markets. We may be less well-known or have fewer local resources and we may be unsuccessful in adapting our business practices, culture and operations. From time to time, we may test the waters in new markets where we believe there may be an opportunity to use our experience in highly diverse environments to reach underserved buyers and sellers. We may also cease our operations in certain markets as and when we deem appropriate.
 
Our operations and expansions in new markets may become subject to risks associated with:
 

user acceptance of a digital economy, especially in the new markets to which we have expanded or may expand in the future;
 

lack of experience operating in these new markets, including our ability to understand different user behaviors and/or culture in new markets and roll-out relevant products and services localized to each market’s needs or preferences;
 

challenges in adapting our approach and strategies in existing markets to new markets;
 

recruiting and retaining talented and capable management and employees in various markets;
 

our ability to appropriately deploy resources and management attention that otherwise would be focused on the development of our existing markets and businesses;
 

limited technology infrastructure and low levels of use of the internet;
 

challenges caused by distance, language and cultural differences, and local and regional competitive landscapes;
 

providing content and services that appeal to the tastes and preferences of users in a larger number of markets;
 

implementing our businesses in a manner that complies with local laws and practices, which may differ significantly from market to market, including laws regarding data protection, privacy, network security, cybersecurity, encryption and payments;
 

maintaining adequate internal and accounting control across various markets, each with its own accounting principles that must be reconciled to U.S. GAAP upon consolidation;
 

compliance with privacy laws and data security laws, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, and compliance costs across different legal systems;
 

currency exchange rate fluctuations;
 

protectionist laws and business practices that could, among other things, hinder our ability to execute our business strategies and put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to domestic companies, including restrictions on foreign ownership;
 

actions by governments or others to restrict access to our products and services, whether these actions are taken for political, security or other reasons, or that may cause us to discontinue our operations in a particular market;
 

complex local tax regimes;
 

differing, complex and potentially adverse customs, import/export laws, tax rules and regulations or other trade barriers or restrictions which may be applicable to transactions conducted through cross-border e-commerce business, related compliance obligations and consequences of non-compliance, and any new developments in these areas;
 

establishing strategic partnerships to expand and grow our business, as well as maintaining our relationships with any of our existing or future strategic partners;
 

potential political, economic and social instability, including the current tension between Russia and Ukraine and other future major geopolitical events, and related actions taken by other countries in response, or perceived, threatened or actual security concerns; and
 

higher costs associated with doing business in a larger number of markets.
 
Any of the foregoing could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
As the consumer internet business may be relatively new in certain markets, the relevant regulations are evolving and expanding, especially as we expand the scope of our businesses and enter into new markets. We may be regularly subject to formal and informal reviews, inquiries and investigations by governments and regulatory authorities. Unfavorable regulations, laws, decisions or enforcement actions could cause us to incur substantial costs, expose us to unanticipated civil and criminal liability or penalties (including substantial monetary fines), diminish the demand for, or availability of, our products and services, increase our cost of doing business, require us to change our business practices in a manner materially adverse to our business, damage our reputation, impede our growth, or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our operations.
 
We are subject to extensive and changing laws and government regulations across our business.
 
Our business is affected by laws and regulations across multiple jurisdictions that affect the industries in which we operate, and their scope has increased significantly in recent years. We are subject to a variety of regulations, including those relating to game operations, game ratings, e-commerce, social networking, internet applications or content services, digital platforms, marketing, advertising, privacy, personal information, data use, data transfer, data processing, data localization, data storage, data retention and data protection, live-streaming services, antitrust or competition laws, employment and labor laws, national language requirements, intellectual property, virtual items, user generated content, loot boxes, national security, nationalization, content restrictions, platform regulations, sale of regulated or prohibited items, protection of minors, consumer protection, pricing, product safety and product liability, prevention of money laundering and financing criminal activity and terrorism, anti-bribery and anti-corruption regulation, economic or other trade prohibitions or sanctions, electronic contracts and other communications, digital financial services regulation, electronic payment services regulation, foreign investment and currency control regulation. Because the industries in which we operate are relatively new in our markets, the relevant laws and regulations, as well as their interpretations, are often unclear and evolving. Some of these regulations also implicate licensing requirements, and the variety of potentially applicable laws and regulations can make it difficult to know or determine which licenses and approvals are necessary, or the processes for obtaining them. For these same reasons, we also cannot be certain that we will be able to maintain the licenses and approvals that we have previously obtained, or that once they expire, we will be able to renew them. We are also uncertain as to whether we will be able to obtain the licenses we apply for in a timely manner or at all. If we fail to obtain, maintain or renew any required licenses or approvals, comply with the licensing conditions or make any necessary filings, or are found to require licenses or approvals that we believed were not necessary or we were previously exempted from obtaining, we may be subject to various penalties, such as loss of the revenue or assets that were generated through the unlicensed business activities, imposition of fines, suspension or cancelation of the applicable license, written reprimands, termination of relevant businesses or offerings, criminal prosecution and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations, or other disputes. Any such penalties or disputes may disrupt our business operations and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Laws and regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and are often evolving, unclear or inconsistent with other applicable laws. At the same time, authorities may introduce protectionist measures or may observe regulatory developments in other jurisdictions and seek to implement similar measures, including measures to bring their respective jurisdictions in line with international standards that may be more stringent or restrictive, thus potentially subjecting us to more extensive regulation in each market. Future expansion in terms of our services and geographic coverage, including the expansion of our licensed or self-developed games, e-commerce platform and digital financial services and products to other parts of the world, could subject us to additional regulatory requirements and other risks that may be costly or difficult to comply with. As the digital economy of our markets develop and new regulations and compliance requirements are introduced, there may be ambiguity regarding the applicability and scope of new and existing regulations and compliance requirements, which may in turn cause uncertainty to our business operations, user engagements and investor confidence. We may require more time than expected to adapt to these new requirements, and may face delays during the implementation or transition period. Any failure to timely comply with such new requirements may disrupt our business operations, damage our reputation, cause us to lose users or reduce user engagement. News or rumors about potential introductions of new regulations, restrictions or compliance requirements may also result in significant uncertainties to our business operations and may negatively affect the market price of our ADSs.
 
In addition, data protection, privacy, content, competition, and other laws and regulations may impose different obligations or be more restrictive in certain of our markets or other parts of the world where we may expand our operations. For example, GDPR includes operational requirements for companies that receive or process personal data of residents of the European Union. There are a number of recently enacted data protection laws as well as legislative and regulatory proposals in various jurisdictions that could impose new obligations or limitations in areas affecting our business. There are also jurisdictions that are considering or have passed legislation implementing data transfer restrictions or requiring local storage and processing of data or similar requirements, which could affect our business operations. If we are required to make changes to or are otherwise restricted in the manner in which we transfer data between and among markets and regions or share data among our businesses, it could affect our ability to and the manner in which we provide our content, products and services, which could adversely affect our financial results. We may be required to implement different operating practices and protocols depending on the requirements of each local market, which may be costly, and increase the complexity of delivery of our content, products and services. Any antitrust or competition related lawsuit, regulatory investigations, or administrative proceedings against us could require us to terminate or change some of our business practices, or result in us being subject to regulatory actions.
 
Regulators may regularly re-examine and increase legislation, regulation and enforcement of compliance obligations, which may require us or our business partners to revise or expand compliance programs, including the procedures we use to verify the identity of our users and to monitor the transactions on our platforms. Such new legislation, government policies or compliance requirements may also make it more burdensome for us to operate our businesses, expand our offerings and for our users to use our services and products, which could potentially discourage users from using our services and products. We may also make changes to or expand our product offerings or services in a manner that subjects our businesses to additional legislation, regulations or other compliance obligations, which may result in similar burdens and risks to our businesses.
 
The provision of financial services such as mobile wallet services, payment processing, cross-border e-commerce transactions, consumer loan products, insurtech and banking services and products are typically more regulated and subject to a broad range of complex laws and regulations that are rapidly changing. The monetary, commercial or equivalent authorities in the markets in which we operate could impose new or additional licensing requirements, capital commitments, governance standards, reporting obligations or other regulatory requirements, requiring us to devote substantial operational and financial resources to comply with such requirements.
 
We may fail to compete effectively.
 
We face competition in each of our business lines and the failure to compete effectively in any of them could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our digital entertainment business competes globally on the basis of a number of factors, including user base, game portfolio, quality of user experience, brand awareness and reputation, relationships with game developers, access to developer talent, monetization strategies and access to distribution and payment channels. Our competitors for game publishing include companies with a presence in just one or several markets, as well as companies offering global publishing platforms. Our competitors for game development include global developers, who may have more experience, better reputation and more data obtained from developing games that target the same user pool. Outside of Southeast Asia and Taiwan, we have a limited operating history, and may be unsuccessful in monetizing or in continuing to attract and retain users for our games. Our competitors may capitalize on their significant financial, technical or know-how resources to develop, distribute and operate mobile, console and PC online games or acquire other game or developer studios. Some developers may choose to distribute games themselves through other channels such as the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, Steam, or through consoles which may compete with games distributed and developed by us. In addition, we face competition from other games, platforms and entertainment formats for the time, attention and entertainment spending of our online game players. If other leisure time activities are perceived by our players to offer greater variety, affordability, interactivity and overall enjoyment, our digital entertainment business may be materially and adversely affected.
 
Our e-commerce business faces competition from regional players that operate across several markets, and from single-market players. Global e-commerce or internet companies are also making efforts to enter into our markets or e-commerce and may further expand their footprints in such markets. Such competitors may have longer operating history and greater access to financial, technological and marketing resources than we do. We compete to attract, engage, and retain buyers based on the variety and value of products and services listed on our marketplaces, overall user experience and convenience, online communication tools, social features, integration with mobile and networking applications and tools, mobile applications and availability, quality and costs of payment and logistics services. We also compete to attract and retain sellers based on the number and the engagement of buyers, the effectiveness and value of the services we offer to sellers, commission rates, and the availability of support services. As e-commerce is evolving in our markets, competition for market share is particularly intense. Our competitors may also consolidate or be acquired by other competitors, allowing them to obtain greater market share, gain access to greater resources and gain real advantages over us. In addition, we may face increasing competition from social media platforms, online and app-based search engines through which products and services may be researched and sold, and other content-providing market players. Social media platforms with high levels of user engagement may be able to leverage content and user connections and traffic on their platform to increase the visibility and attractiveness of a wide variety of brands and products.
 
Our digital financial services business faces competition from existing online and offline payment methods, including, among others, other mobile wallet services and other digital financial service providers. We expect competition to intensify as existing and new competitors introduce new services or enhance existing services. Some of our competitors may have more experience, greater financial resources or larger bases of customers than we have. In addition, certain competitors may have longstanding relationships with certain merchants to accept the payment services they offer, which may make it difficult or costly for us to establish partnerships with these merchants. New entrants tied to established brands may engender greater user confidence in the safety and efficacy of their services, along with greater liquidity. We may also face pricing pressures and other forms of competition from competitors. Some potential competitors may charge lower commissions to merchants or subsidize users through other services they offer. Such competition may result in the need for us to alter the pricing we offer which could reduce our gross profit and negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Competitors in the digital banking space such as banks and larger financial institutions may be able to offer more extensive or enhanced products and services, or offer such products and services at more attractive rates, credit or other terms, including more attractive rates on deposits and rates on loans. If such competitors appear more attractive to high quality customers or credit users, such customers or users may be less likely to use our products and services, and we may have a decreased pool of high quality customers or credit users. For our consumer and merchant credit business, other non-bank fintechs, neobanks, credit unions, multi-finance companies, off-card financing, private credit card and point-of-sale service providers, banks and larger financial institutions may also build solutions to compete in the consumer and merchant lending space.
 
As we continue to expand our business within our existing markets and globally, we may offer new products and services, develop new or enhance the features and functionality of our platforms, that may lead to increased or additional competition. We may also periodically change or remove new features and functionality, which may not be well received and decrease the time spent by users on our platforms. We may need to compete with existing service providers who have more experience and infrastructure than us. We may also face potential protectionist policies, political measures or regulatory challenges that are more supportive of local players in such markets, which may among other things, hinder our ability to compete effectively in such markets.
 
Existing or future investments or acquisitions may not be successful.
 
We have invested in or acquired, and will continue to invest in or acquire, teams, businesses, services, assets or technologies from time to time. We may fail to select appropriate investment or acquisition targets, or we may not be able to negotiate optimal arrangements, including arrangements to finance such investments or acquisitions. Investments and acquisitions entail uncertainties and risks, such as:
 

we may fail to successfully achieve the intended objectives;
 

our investment or acquisitions may be viewed negatively by customers, financial markets or investors;
 

the costs of identifying and consummating these transactions may be significant;
 

acquisitions and the subsequent integration of new assets and businesses into our own could require significant management attention and could divert resources from our existing businesses;
 

we may have difficulty in transitioning and integrating the business, technologies, products, personnel or operations of the acquired businesses;
 

we may face unforeseen operating challenges;
 

our relationships with existing employees, customers and business partners of our group, or those of the target, may be impaired;
 

we may assume pre-existing contractual relationships of an acquired company that we would not have otherwise entered into, the termination or modification of which may be costly or disruptive to our business;
 

an acquisition may result in a delay or reduction of customer purchases for both us and the company acquired due to customer uncertainty about continuity and effectiveness of service from either company;
 

we may face challenges associated with managing additional and/or geographically remote businesses;
 

investments and acquisitions could result in the use of substantial amounts of cash or significant capital contributions, which could limit other potential uses for our cash;
 

investments and acquisitions could result in increased leverage, dilutive issuances of equity securities, adverse tax consequences, goodwill impairment charges or write-offs, amortization expenses for other intangible assets;
 

if we incur debt to fund any investments or acquisitions, such debt may subject us to material restrictions on our ability to conduct our business, including financial maintenance covenants;
 

we may need to issue new shares as acquisition consideration or to raise additional capital to fund the acquisition consideration, which may dilute our existing investors’ interest in us;
 

we may assume unknown material liabilities of acquired companies, or may be exposed to claims and disputes by shareholders and third parties, including intellectual property claims and disputes;
 

we may be unsuccessful in accurately projecting revenue, cost or other metrics of the invested or acquired entity in the due diligence process;
 

the invested or acquired assets or businesses may not generate the financial results we expect; and
 

the market value of our investments or acquisitions may fluctuate, particularly in volatile markets, or they may become obsolete.
 
These factors could adversely affect our financial results. In addition, we may fail to obtain any required approvals and licenses from relevant government authorities. We may become subject to new governmental regulations in connection with our investments and acquisitions, which could result in increased costs and new strategic risks. Any of these risks may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have a limited operating history for some of our businesses.
 
We have a limited operating history upon which to evaluate the viability and sustainability of our businesses, in particular our e-commerce business in newer markets that may be very different from Southeast Asia and Taiwan, our digital financial services business, and new game genres and markets for our digital entertainment business. Our history of operating all three of our businesses together is relatively short, as our SeaMoney and Shopee platforms were launched in April 2014 and June 2015, respectively, as we expanded service and product offerings under Garena, Shopee and SeaMoney and into new markets. Our historical results may not be indicative of our future performance and you should consider our future prospects in light of the risks and uncertainties of early-stage companies operating in fast evolving high-tech industries in certain markets.
 
Our businesses involve third parties over whose actions we have no control.
 
Each of our digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services businesses involves the participation of third parties such as third-party game developers, owners of other third-party intellectual properties, users who generate content on our platforms, including livestreaming or other real-time content dissemination, sellers and merchants who own the content and services offered through our platforms, as well as intermediaries and other third-party service providers. We rely on a number of third-party channels to provide content and services to our users, as well as performing other functions of our platform. For example, we primarily rely on third-party application distribution channels, such as the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, to allow users to download and access our applications and games. If our third-party distribution channels voluntarily or involuntarily suspend their services to us, including taking down or removing our applications in response to government actions or other legal action or pursuant to their own policies, and we are unable to arrange for alternative measures in a timely manner or at all, our users will have difficulties accessing our applications and games or making payments for our products and services. Consequently, we will lose users temporarily or permanently, and our financial results could be materially and adversely affected.

We may not be able to control the actions of these or other third parties and thus are subject to various risks associated with working with or relying on third parties in our businesses, including:


risks relating to third-party sellers on our platform and merchant partners, including deficiencies in the quality of products, misrepresentation of products, listing of restricted or prohibited products, and potential intellectual property issues (see “—We may be subject to intellectual property-related risks”);
 

risks relating to third-party publishing or distribution channels we use to make our applications available for download, such as the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store;
 

risks relating to user generated content in our games (see “— We rely on third-party game developers for some of our digital entertainment content and also allow our users to contribute and interact with user generated content”), e-commerce platform, or other platforms, including livestreaming content or other content posted in real-time that may be illegal, obscene, defamatory, infringing or otherwise inappropriate or unlawful;
 

risks relating to third-party payment service providers we depend on to provide users with various payment options or mobile wallet top-up options, such as the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, payment on delivery, bank transfers, direct carrier billing, credit cards, debit cards, telecommunication card top-up and payment through other third-party payment services;
 

risks relating to services by third-party logistics service providers;
 

risks relating to users’ personal data that is received or used by third parties in connection with our services, such as when sellers or third-party logistics providers receive user information in connection with order fulfillment;
 

risks relating to users of our services or platforms who engage in fraud or other conduct that violates our terms of service, other policies, or the law;
 

risks relating to our business and/or banking partners or counterparties being sanctioned and/or otherwise being found to have violated our agreements, other policies, or the law;
 

risks relating to third-party data center providers and cloud services for the storing of data from our users and operations, including any risks relating to users’ personal data hosted by such service providers. In addition, we do not control the operation of these facilities and rely on contracts to employ their use. The owners of the data center facilities have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew these agreements on commercially reasonable terms, we may be required to transfer our servers and other infrastructure to new data center facilities, or change to other service providers, and we may incur significant costs and possible lengthy service interruptions in connection with doing so; and
 

damage to our reputation if third parties on our platforms or our other business partners do not properly perform their functions and negatively affect our users’ experience with our platforms.
 
Although we take efforts to prevent third parties from engaging in prohibited conduct via the content available on our platforms, we may not detect every unlawful, improper or fraudulent third-party action. In some of our markets, we may be liable for certain third-party conduct under local law, including if users commit fraud or cause other users of our services to incur losses. While we have agreements with some of these parties that obligate them to carry out their respective dealings in a lawful and professional manner and to indemnify us for losses subject to applicable laws, any legal protection we may have could be insufficient to compensate us for our losses or may not repair the damage to our reputation.
 
If any of our third-party service providers and channel providers delivers unsatisfactory service, engages in fraudulent or prohibited actions, or is unable or refuses to continue to provide its services to us and our users for any reason, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
 
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may adversely affect our operational and financial results, which we report in U.S. dollars.
 
We operate in multiple markets, which exposes us to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates as we report our financials and key operational metrics in U.S. dollars. We earn revenue denominated in local currencies of our markets in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Brazil, among other currencies, while some of our costs and expenses are paid in other foreign currencies. We generally pay license fees to game developers in U.S. dollars, and incur expenses for employee compensation and other operating expenses in the local currencies in the markets in which we operate. From time to time, we may pay acquisition considerations in U.S. dollars. We do not rely on any single currency as we earn revenue in different local currencies across our markets and keep a significant cash position in U.S. dollars. However, fluctuations in the exchange rates among the various currencies that we use could cause fluctuations in our operational and financial results. Our expenses may become higher and our revenue and operating metrics may become lower than would be the case if exchange rates were stable or if we were operating and reporting in one currency. Movements in foreign currency exchange rates may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, which may cause our financial and operational metrics reported in U.S. dollars to be not fully representative of our underlying business performance. A significant amount of our revenue and some of our operating metrics such as gross merchandise value are denominated in certain local currencies that have been subject to significant volatility in the past. Because fluctuations in the value of these local currencies are not necessarily correlated, our results of operations in any period may be adversely affected by such volatility. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results—Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations” and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
We may enter into foreign exchange derivatives transactions and incur relevant costs from time to time to manage our exposure to exchange rate risk. Such derivatives transactions while intended to be non-speculative, are designed to protect us against increases or decreases in exchange rates, but not both. If we have entered into derivatives transactions to protect against, for example, decreases in the value of a local currency and such local currency instead increases in value, we may incur financial losses. Such losses could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
We may be subject to intellectual property-related risks.
 
We rely on a wide portfolio of intellectual properties to operate our businesses. We may not be able to effectively protect these intellectual properties against infringement, or efforts to safeguard our intellectual properties may be costly.
 
We rely on a combination of trademark, patent, fair trade practice, copyright and trade secret protection laws, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions, to protect our intellectual properties. We also enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and any third parties who may access our proprietary information, and we rigorously control access to our proprietary technology and information. Our intellectual property protection measures may not be sufficient, and confidentiality agreements may be breached by counterparties. There may not be adequate remedies available to us for any such infringement or breach. For example, in the event any third-party game developer, publisher or hacking group infringes the copyright of our self-developed game, our users may lose interest in our games. In addition, policing any unauthorized use of our intellectual properties is difficult, time-consuming and costly, and the steps we take may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our intellectual properties. In the event that we resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, such litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our managerial and financial resources. We may not prevail in such litigation. In addition, our trade secrets may be leaked or otherwise become available to, or be independently discovered by, our competitors. Any failure in protecting or enforcing our intellectual property rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
From time to time we receive notices from third parties or are named in lawsuits by third parties alleging infringement of their proprietary intellectual property rights or in connection with claims relating to our content, products or marketing activities. For example, with respect to our e-commerce business, we receive complaints alleging that items offered on or sold through our Shopee platform infringe third-party copyrights, trademarks and patents or other intellectual property rights, or contain obscene, defamatory or libelous content. Although we have adopted measures to reduce infringements or offense by product listings on our Shopee platform before they appear on the marketplace, these efforts may not always be successful. In February 2022, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, or USTR, published its latest annual Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, which identified the Shopee platform in several of our markets as “notorious markets.” The USTR may continue to identify those Shopee markets as notorious markets, and the USTR may identify other Shopee markets as notorious markets in the future. In December 2020, the European Commission placed Shopee on its Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List. Any public perception that counterfeit, pirated, or otherwise inappropriate or illegal items are commonplace on Shopee, even if factually incorrect, or perceived delays in our removal of these items could damage our reputation and result in regulatory action against us and diminish the value of our brand name. We may be subject to allegations of civil or criminal liability for alleged intellectual property infringement, including based on allegedly unlawful activities carried out by third parties through our platforms. We may also be subject to fines or sanctions by local authorities for infringing products or improper contents offered on our marketplace, including requiring the removal of the infringing products or a temporary or permanent block of our platform.
 
We may implement further measures to protect users and ourselves against potential intellectual property liabilities, and these measures could cost us substantial additional resources or require us to discontinue certain service offerings. In addition, these measures may reduce the attractiveness of our platforms to users. For example, a seller whose listings are removed or suspended by us, regardless of our compliance with the applicable laws, rules and regulations, may dispute our actions and commence action against us for damages based on breach of contract or other causes of action or make public complaints or allegations. Any costs incurred as a result of such liability or asserted liability could also harm our business.
 
As the number of interactive games increases and the features and content of these games continue to overlap, software developers and distributors have increasingly become subject to infringement claims. Some of our game content is highly realistic and features materials that are based on real‑world objects or people, which may also be the subject of claims of infringement, including right of publicity, copyright, trademark and unfair competition claims. Despite any steps taken by us to avoid knowingly violating the intellectual property rights of others, third parties may still claim that content we develop or license from third parties infringes their intellectual property rights. We received intellectual property related claims in the past. In addition, as we begin to allow user generated content on our platforms, we may also become subject to third party claims relating to such content.
 
Any such claims, whether or not meritorious, that we need to defend or litigation we take to enforce our intellectual property rights may be time-consuming, distracting to management and costly, and we may not prevail in any such litigation. We may also be forced to stop distributing, cease using or redesign the relevant content or product, obtain a license from the claimant, which, if available at all, may not be available on commercially favorable terms.
 
We may be liable for security breaches and attacks against our or our third-party partners’ platforms and network, particularly with regard to confidential user information and personal or other data or any other privacy or data protection compliance issue, and our platforms and games may contain unforeseen “bugs” or errors.
 
Our business stores, generates and processes a large amount of data, including personal data and payment information from users, and any failure to prevent or mitigate security breaches and the improper access, use or disclosure of such data could impact our operations negatively and harm our reputation. We also maintain certain other proprietary and confidential data relating to our business and personal data of our consumers and personnel. Although we have employed significant resources to develop and implement security measures aimed at preventing breaches, our cybersecurity and data protection measures have not and may not detect or prevent all attempts to compromise our systems, including distributed denial-of-service attacks, viruses, malicious software, physical or electronic break-ins, phishing attacks, data leaks, social engineering, and security breaches or other attacks and similar disruptions that may jeopardize the security of information stored in and transmitted by our systems or that we otherwise maintain. Any security breach, including personal data breaches or incidents, including cybersecurity incidents, could result in unauthorized access to our systems or a user’s system, misappropriation of our or a user’s information or data, loss, corruption or alteration of such data, financial loss, deletion or modification of user information, damage to our systems or those of our users, or a denial-of-service or other interruption to our business operations. Any such incidents could impact our operations and could expose us to claims, litigation, regulatory or other governmental investigations, administrative fines, and potential liability, as well as remediation costs and increased cybersecurity and/or data protection costs. We have in the past been and are likely again in the future to be subject to these types of attacks and security breaches. As techniques used to obtain unauthorized access to or otherwise breach or sabotage systems change frequently, we may not be aware that we have been attacked and we may be unable to anticipate or implement adequate measures to protect against these security breaches until they have been launched against us, our platforms or services, our users or our third-party service providers. We may not have the resources, technical sophistication, or ability to anticipate or prevent rapidly evolving or sophisticated types of cyber-attacks or other types of security breaches. In addition, our confidential or proprietary information or our users’ personal data or payment information may, in some instances, be stored or processed by certain third-party partners, which poses similar risks. If an actual or perceived breach of our or our third-party partners’ security occurs, public perception of the effectiveness of our security measures and brand could be harmed, demand for our platforms or services may be reduced, our operations may be disrupted, we may incur significant legal liabilities, financial loss, and remediation costs, and our business could be materially and adversely affected. While we take measures to require third-party service providers to adopt necessary security measures and to protect against data breaches in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, we also face similar risks to the extent any personal data is shared with third-party service providers. Any compromise of our or our third-party partners’ security or data could have a series of significant consequences, ranging from violation of applicable security, privacy or data protection, consumer and other laws, regulatory or other governmental investigations, enforcement actions, to other legal and financial exposure, including potential contractual liability, reputational damage, litigation risk and/or user loss.
 
Our platforms services, applications, websites and games have in the past contained and may in the future contain errors or “bugs” that are not detected until after the applications, products or services are published or released. Any such errors or a significant unavailability of our platforms, services or games or any breach of users’ data protection rights due to these errors or “bugs” could affect the overall user experience, which could cause users to reduce their time on or interest in our platforms, services or games, or not recommend our content and services to others. Such errors could also result in non-compliance with applicable laws, cause financial loss, or create legal liability for us. Resolving such errors could also disrupt our operations, cause us to divert resources from other matters, or materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, “cheating” programs or other unauthorized software tools and modifications that enable players to cheat in games harm the experience of players who play fairly and could negatively impact the volume of purchases of in-game items. Also, vulnerabilities in the design of our products, services and of the platforms on which they run could be discovered after their release and exploited by malicious actors before they are remedied. This may lead to loss of revenues or increased cost of developing technological measures to respond to these, either of which could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We collect, process, transmit, and store personal information in connection with the operation of our businesses and are subject to complex and evolving international laws and regulations regarding privacy and data protection.

Our businesses are subject to a number of data protection laws and requirements in the markets in which we operate and where our users, merchant partners, customers and other participants are located. We are also subject to agreements with third parties such as Apple, Google, Facebook and others that place conditions and requirements on the data collected via their services. As we further expand our operations internationally, we will be subject to additional data protection laws and requirements. The privacy and data protection related laws, rules and regulations of jurisdictions we expand to may be more comprehensive, restrictive or otherwise different as compared to such laws, rules and regulations in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. In addition, such laws, rules and regulations, including any penalties, may differ or be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Complying with privacy and data protection related laws, rules and regulations for an increasing number of jurisdictions could require significant resources and costs. Such laws, rules and regulations may also restrict the transfer of data across jurisdictions, require data localization, require us to obtain user consent for the use and collection of their data, to delete or limit the processing of their data, and require us not to sell or engage in marketing data with respect to certain users, among other things, which may impose additional and substantial operational, administrative and compliance burdens on us, and may also restrict our operations and expansions in new markets. The costs to comply with, or our actual or perceived failure to comply with, new or changing laws, rules and regulations regarding privacy and data protection, privacy and data protection laws, rules and regulations in new markets, and/or contractual obligations related to privacy and data protection may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation. We may also face potentially significant fines, reputational loss and customer loss, and may be subject to proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities, consumers or others relating to privacy and data protection.
 
Risks Related to Our Digital Entertainment Business
 
We derive a significant portion of digital entertainment revenue and gross profit from a limited number of online games.
 
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, our digital entertainment business contributed 52.2%, 46.1% and 43.4% of our total revenue, respectively. In addition, our gross profit in 2019, 2020 and 2021 was primarily attributable to the positive impact of our digital entertainment business. With many economies reopening further in the fourth quarter of 2021 and into 2022, we have observed some moderation in online activities and fluctuations in user engagement.
 
Among our online games, we substantially depend on a small number of popular games, including our first fully self-developed game, Free Fire, a global popular battle royale type of mobile game, which was launched in December 2017. In 2021, our top five games, comprising Free Fire and games licensed to us by third-party game developers, contributed 97.4% of our digital entertainment revenue, among which Free Fire contributed a significant portion. If we are unable to identify, source, develop and launch new games titles that gain widespread popularity and generate significant revenue, our revenue and revenue growth may continue to depend on the success of just a few game titles. If there are any negative developments or occurrences to any of our key revenue-earning games including Free Fire, such as decline in popularity, content quality issues, competing products, content restrictions, government actions, regulatory or legal changes that affect our ability to monetize our games, reductions in consumer spending and engagement levels, delay or failure in producing new engaging content, or real or perceived security risks, our revenues could experience material decline or slower growth. We may also select and invest significant financial and human resources in games that later prove unsuccessful. There may also be unforeseen delays in the launch of new games. If we are unable to source or launch new popular games in a timely manner, our game players may seek entertainment elsewhere. As the gross margin of self-developed game content tends to be higher than that of content licensed from third parties, any fluctuations in the mix of our revenue generated from self-developed game content and licensed game content may also affect our profitability.
 
We have a limited track record in game development and global game distribution.
 
While Free Fire has so far been well-received, we are still relatively new to game development. We may be unable to continue to identify market opportunities and develop new games, and subsequent self-developed games may not always have the same or comparable levels of success. Development of new games requires considerable resources, including research, testing, marketing, infrastructure and staff expenses. If the increased costs do not translate to higher revenues and cost efficiencies, our business could be negatively affected.
 
Free Fire is currently available in more than 130 markets. Any self-developed games we may develop in the future may also be offered in multiple jurisdictions. The expansion of our digital entertainment business into new markets, including through our self-developed games, may subject us to additional regulatory and compliance requirements and other new risks. We may have to adopt differing methods and processes to adhere to each jurisdiction’s laws and regulations, which could result in undue delays in launching such self-developed games or increased costs.
 
We rely on third-party game developers for some of our digital entertainment content and also allow our users to contribute and interact with user generated content.
 
We license many of our online games from third-party game developers. The term of our game license agreements with game developers typically ranges from two to seven years, renewable upon both parties’ consent. However, we may not be able to develop or procure new games or renew existing licenses on terms acceptable to us. Our game developer partners may terminate our agreements prior to their expiration if we are not in compliance with the relevant terms or conditions and we fail to remedy such non-compliance in time, or they may refuse to renew the agreements. Any failure on our part to effectively localize, operate, market or monetize their games, safeguard their intellectual properties, or otherwise perform our obligations under the license agreements may cause substantial harm to our relationships with game developers, who may then choose other game operators to distribute their games. Currently, some of our most popular games, including League of Legends, Arena of Valor, and Call of Duty: Mobile, are owned or developed by Tencent Holdings Limited and its affiliates, or Tencent, one of our shareholders. In November 2018, we obtained a right of first refusal from Tencent to publish its mobile and PC games in Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, subject to certain terms and conditions. Although we have already launched certain games under such right of first refusal arrangement, there is no guarantee that we will continue to publish the existing games or publish more games under such right of first refusal arrangement on terms satisfactory to us or at all, or that any games published under such arrangement will yield a positive result.
 
As part of our continued efforts to encourage user participation and user content creation, we have recently introduced and begun to explore game features that enable users to contribute and interact with user generated content. While we believe the move towards having more user generated content is aligned with major emerging industry trends, we are unable to predict and cannot guarantee that such features in our existing or new games will contribute to the penetration or profitability of our games or achieve their desired or expected results.
 
In certain circumstances, the actions of our third-party game developers and content creators or contributors which are beyond our control could materially and adversely affect the success of our games, causing our games revenue to fluctuate or even be lower than expected. These actions by game developers could include software updates resulting in adverse changes in gameplay that are poorly received by our users, game or update releases with insufficient content to attract users or maintain the level of their engagement, or delays in any release of anticipated games in our pipeline or game updates. User-generated content features make it relatively easy for developers, content creators or contributors, and other users to upload and contribute content, which may result in content moderation challenges, including the possibility that infringing or inappropriate content is added to our games or platforms. There is no guarantee that we will be able to successfully implement policies or procedures to moderate user generated content or identity and block infringing or inappropriate content before it is uploaded and/or before other users view it, which could lead to legal or regulatory actions being taken against our games or platforms and/or user complaints and litigations.
 
Our games are subject to scrutiny regarding the appropriateness of their content.

Our games are subject to reviews, ratings, age restrictions or other restrictions on content, advertisement or distribution mandated by laws in some of our markets or ratings by third-party application distribution channels. For example, in Vietnam, online game publishers are required to obtain certain licenses, approval on game content, certificate and/or acknowledgement of announcement from the competent authority, depending on the classification of each game to be provided to the market. In Thailand, applications to publish online games need to be reviewed and approved by the Thailand Film and Video Censorship Committee. Apple uses its own proprietary app rating system and Google Play uses the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) rating system. If we are unable to obtain the ratings we have targeted for our games, it could delay launch or upgrade of our games.
 
Legislation or regulations may be introduced in our markets to impose age, spending or playtime restrictions or to allow government censorship or to establish a system for protecting users from the potential influence of graphic violence, gaming addiction or other objectionable elements contained in various types of games. Some of our games may be subject to stricter regulations caused by government actions or legal proceedings, including those imposed against other developers’ games which are in the same genre as ours, and these restrictions may vary by jurisdiction. We may be required to modify our game content or features or alter our marketing or monetization strategies to comply with new governmental regulations or ratings assigned to our current or future games, which could delay or prohibit the release of new games or upgrades and reduce the existing and potential scope of our user base. We may also be required to modify or remove certain game features to react to government actions, court decisions such as injunctions or complaints from activist groups or organizations. If we are required or elect to do so, it could adversely affect our monetization, user base and financial results. If any of our key games, including Free Fire, is banned or temporarily suspended by any government, court or distribution channels, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
 
The WHO’s Eleventh Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) lists gaming addiction as a disorder. While the effects of gaming and whether gaming addiction is a disorder continues to be discussed and researched by health officials and others, the WHO and other governments may continue to take measures against gaming addiction, such as imposing gaming curfews or spending limits for minors and establishing treatment programs aimed at addressing gaming addiction.
 
There are increasing discussions in many jurisdictions globally regarding whether certain game mechanics, such as loot boxes, should be subject to a higher level or different type of regulation to protect consumers. Some jurisdictions have seen enforcement or actions initiated by activist groups or organizations to protect consumers, in particular minors and other susceptible persons. For example, in February 2021, the National Association of Centers for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Brazil, or ANCED Brazil, a youth rights group in Brazil, filed lawsuits against a number of electronic games companies and distribution platforms, including our gaming entity in Brazil, in a court dedicated to resolving matters concerning children and adolescents regarding alleged loot box mechanisms in the games. In addition, to the extent Apple, Google, or any of our other platform providers or game distribution channels restrict the use of loot boxes or similar mechanism in games, we may need to adjust our game content or monetization strategy in order to continue distribution on such platforms or channels, which may cause a decline in the revenues generated from these games and require us to incur additional costs. If new or amended legislations or regulations, which may vary significantly across jurisdictions and which we may be required to comply with, require certain game mechanics of our games to be modified or removed, such requirements would increase the costs of operating our games, impact player engagement and monetization, or may otherwise harm our business performance. In addition, the increased attention focused on potential liability issues or alleged harms as a result of any lawsuits and legislative proposals could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business.
 
As debate in the industry continues, we cannot predict the likelihood, timing, scope or terms of gaming related laws or regulations in our markets, or the extent to which implementation or public reactions of such laws or regulations (including lawsuits brought against game companies by alleged victims of gaming addiction or other issues relating to gaming content) may adversely affect our reputation and business. We may need to adjust our game content or monetization strategy to respond to local legal or regulatory requirements. Moreover, public dialogue concerning online games may have an adverse impact on our reputation and users’ willingness to play our games. Any costs incurred as a result of this potential liability or reputational concerns could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Risks Related to Our E-Commerce Business
 
We face uncertainties relating to the growth and profitability of the e-commerce industry in our markets and we may face challenges and uncertainties in implementing our e-commerce strategy.
 
While e-commerce adoption continues to grow, our future results of operations will depend on numerous factors affecting the development of the e-commerce retail industry in our markets, which may be beyond our control. These factors include:
 

the growth rate of internet, broadband, personal computer and smartphone penetration and usage in our markets, including any changes or fluctuations in growth rates and/or usage;
 

the trust and confidence level of e-commerce consumers, as well as changes in customer demographics and consumer tastes and preferences;
 

the selection, pricing and popularity of products that online sellers offer;
 

whether alternative retail channels or business models that better address the needs or preferences of consumers emerge, including social commerce or multi-category service e-commerce platforms;
 

the differing and quickly changing laws and regulations applicable to e-commerce businesses in our markets, including any required licenses or permits, exposure to additional liability, including for conduct by or content originating from third parties, and new labor legislation or changes to any employment or independent contractor classification frameworks; and
 

the development of logistics (especially last-mile delivery and warehousing infrastructure), payment and other ancillary services associated with e-commerce, including any write-offs in connection with delivery expenses incurred when sellers provide us with inaccurate pick-up or delivery information.
 
Our e-commerce revenue is currently concentrated, with our top three markets accounting for a majority of our total e-commerce revenue. If we were to experience a material decline in Shopee’s major markets, especially those profitable or near profitable markets, or we are prohibited from operating or subject to restrictions limiting our operations in such markets, it could materially and adversely affect our financial results and the prospects and profitability of our e-commerce business. Our investments and future investments in new markets may not generate sufficient user engagement or revenues to justify continued investment. We may not gain market share in such new markets or turn profitable.
 
As we continue to develop our last-mile delivery and warehousing capacity to build up our fulfilment capabilities, as well as expand the categories of services we offer through our e-commerce platform such as food delivery, we expect these developments to potentially require significant capital expenditures or increase our operating expenses. In addition, we may acquire land or land use rights to build warehouses and to support such capabilities, which may expose us to risks relating to declining real estate prices and construction risks. If we fail to accurately predict demand for such services, or accurately adjust our operations in response to evolving business needs and economic and regulatory conditions, we may suffer increased costs or impairment charges. Any such adjustments may also not achieve their desired or expected results. The development of our fulfillment capabilities may also become increasingly complex and challenging to operate as it expands, and we may not be able to acquire land, land use rights, set up warehouses, or lease suitable facilities to directly handle delivery of products to our customers, on commercially acceptable terms or at all.
 
We may be held liable for actions by our marketplace participants.
 
With the increasing use of e-commerce marketplaces and development of legislation in different markets towards e-commerce marketplaces, proposed and newly enacted laws as well as recent court decisions in certain markets may increase our liability as a marketplace platform for the actions of, content created by, and/or products sold by third party sellers that use our Shopee platform. For example, the issuance of Decree 85/2021/ND-CP, or Decree 85, in Vietnam makes e-commerce platforms jointly liable to the buyer under certain circumstances if they fail to comply with the requirements of Decree 85 such as taking remedial measures upon detection or receipt of reports of goods or services that violate local laws, or to support the relevant authorities in Vietnam in investigating and handling illegal acts and settling disputes. We may also be held directly or secondarily liable for intellectual property infringement, product related claims or consumer protection deficiencies, privacy and data protection incidents, regulatory violations by sellers, or other similar conduct of sellers over which we have limited or no influence or control. As Shopee is readily identifiable, buyers may seek claims against us rather than the seller, which in the aggregate could be costly to defend. We also receive inquiries or demands from regulators and law enforcement regarding defective, unregistered, unlicensed or fraudulent products sold by sellers through our Shopee platform. We have developed robust consumer protection policies and procedures focused on requiring sellers to comply with applicable laws and creating a secure and reliable shopping environment for our buyers. When these policies and procedures are circumvented or fail to operate sufficiently, our business could be adversely impacted and our reputation could be harmed. In addition, we could face civil or criminal liability for unlawful activities by our sellers.
 
We may suffer losses relating to the products we sell on Shopee.
 
In connection with our direct sales and certain value-added services on our Shopee platform, we purchase certain products from manufacturers and third parties and subsequently sell such products on our Shopee platform. This subjects us to risks relating to such products and to managing our inventory turnover. We depend on our forecasts of demand and popularity for a variety of products to make decisions regarding product purchases. Our customers may not order products at the levels expected by us due to our failure to forecast accurately, unfavorable market conditions or change in consumer trends. In addition, if the supply of products from manufacturers and third parties deteriorates, we may be unable to obtain the products that buyers want to purchase. Manufacturers and third parties may discontinue selling products due to factors that may or may not be within our control. Our inability to secure timely and sufficient supplies of products would negatively affect inventory levels and our platform popularity.
 
We do not always have the right to return unsold items to sellers or suppliers. In addition, in order to secure more favorable commercial terms, we may need to purchase a higher volume of products. If we fail to efficiently manage our inventory, we may suffer losses, including losses due to inventory write-downs relating to decrease in estimated market value or damaged or obsolete inventory. In addition, if we are unable to sell products or if we deem it necessary to lower sale prices in order to attract buyers or reduce inventory level, our profitability will be negatively affected.
 
We may also be subject to legal claims in relation to such products or the conduct of our sellers from time to time. We cannot guarantee that all products we purchase for direct sale are of the quality expected by our buyers. If buyers have any disputes with us regarding the products we sell, including disputes relating to product quality or authenticity, we may suffer reputational loss or liability and may need to incur additional costs to address such disputes, which in turn may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
 
Risks Related to Our Digital Financial Services Business
 
We face uncertainties and risks relating to our digital financial services business.
 
Although there are trends of uptick of digital financial services and products across the globe, and countries such as Singapore are taking steps toward being a “cashless society,” there is no certainty that this will continue or will result in widespread market acceptance of our digital financial services and products across all or any of the markets in which we operate. We may be unable to achieve the required level of market acceptance in order for us to recoup the investment costs involved in developing and launching our digital financial services and products or to bear the associated risks involved in providing such services and products. Our ability to achieve or maintain market acceptance for our digital financial services and products are affected by a number of factors, such as the community’s lack of trust in digital financial services and products being provided by a company that is not a traditional financial institution, entrenched preferences in traditional payment methods, insufficient use cases for our digital payment services and lack of infrastructure support locally. Even if there is adequate acceptance of our digital financial services and products, we continue to be subject to a quickly changing regulatory environment for such services and to the changing needs and demands of users, which may change for a multitude of reasons such as availability of alternative payment methods that are more popular or widely accepted. If we are found or alleged to be non-compliant, we may suffer financial and reputational damage, and may be required to modify our operations or stop offering our products and services, among other things that could negatively impact our business. While we endeavor to consistently increase demand for our digital financial services and products by broadening and improving our use cases and product offerings, we cannot predict with certainty the reasons for the changes in user demands, and the consequential effects of such changes on our business.
 
In addition to other relevant risk factors described herein, our mobile wallet business is subject to other risks including: (i) changes to rules or practices applicable to payment systems that link to our mobile wallet, (ii) increasing costs, including fees charged by banks to process transactions through our mobile wallet, and (iii) failure to manage user funds accurately or loss of user funds, whether due to employee fraud, security breaches, technical errors or otherwise. Other payment card schemes that link to our mobile wallet may impose special assessments for transactions that are executed through a mobile wallet and these fees could significantly increase our costs.
 
We are a relatively new entrant in the digital financial services industry and may face intense competition with existing services providers and other new entrants. Our competitors may have greater experience in the financial services sector and greater resources than we have. To attract users, we may have to create differentiated product and services offerings or offer incentives. Our current or future digital financial products and services may not be successful or generate sufficient revenue to cover the costs and expenses of their launch and development.
 
We face risks related to our lending and consumer and merchant credit businesses.
 
As the amount of our loans increase and we further diversify our credit product offerings and services, we may require additional funds, explore alternative funding methods such as partnering with external funding providers or consider securitization of our credit portfolio. If our capital is insufficient to meet the demand or, in the case of our lending business, any applicable regulatory or capital requirements, due to lack of internal resources or alternative funding options, it may affect our credit product or loan offering capabilities, lead to loss of users, borrowers or slower growth, and constrain our working capital.
 
These services will also expose us to risks and liabilities, including credit risks relating to the borrowers who may be individuals or commercial customers, and counterparty risks in dealing with potential business partners. We rely on, among other things, the information and knowledge we gain from our existing businesses to build the strategy of our credit and loan products and assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. Our ability to assess creditworthiness may be impaired if the strategies or policies we use to manage our credit risks do not achieve their desired effect, which could lead to, for instance, loans being issued to users who may have higher default or delinquency risks. Even if our information collection, strategy and policy are all appropriate, other factors such as macro-economic or unexpected incidents may still affect our borrowers’ ability to repay. We aim to maintain low delinquency and default rates through an effective credit risk management process. However, high rates of delinquency or default may occur, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Interest rates we charge may not be sufficient to cover our costs and expenses in providing the loans, including the costs associated with borrower defaults. Moreover, upon a borrower’s default, we may need to devote internal resources or engage third-party collection agencies to collect the receivables. If any collection personnel are involved with any misconduct or there are perceptions that our collection practices are considered to be aggressive or not compliant with relevant laws and regulations, our reputation and business may be harmed or may become subject to fines or other penalties.
 
 We currently have channeling and joint financing arrangements with our banking partners to fund some of our credit business and may securitize our consumer and merchant loans or enter into other arrangements to fund our credit business. Any changes to, or new interpretations of, the existing regulations relating to consumer and merchant credit business and these funding activities may discourage our financing or funding partners from funding loans through our platform. If our financing or funding partners cease to fund the loans (whether temporary or permanent), our consumer and merchant credit business may be adversely impacted. If fewer investors, financing or funding partners are willing to fund the loans, the increased competition for funding and the cost of funding may increase, which may adversely impact our results of operation.
 
In addition, as we expand various product offerings including credit services to consumers and merchants across more markets and roll out more digital financial products and services on our SeaMoney platform, including digital banking and insurtech, our limited operating history in these markets or with these products and service hinders our ability to forecast and maintain appropriate capital reserves for any losses that may arise.
 
Our banking and consumer and merchant credit businesses are subject to credit cycle volatility and risk of credit losses.
 
As our banking and consumer and merchant credit businesses grow, our business and financial results may also become increasingly subject to credit cycle volatility and the risk of credit losses, including deterioration of the credit profile of borrowers. Our provision matrix for credit losses is based on our historical credit loss experience, adjusted for forward-looking factors specific to the receivables and economic environment, and the allowance we make for credit losses are calculated on an aggregate basis for various customer segments that are considered to have similar credit characteristics and risk of loss. There are various factors used to help us assess the credit risks of our banking and consumer and merchant credit businesses. These factors may be based on limited history or be beyond our control, and we may be unable to accurately predict the creditworthiness of a borrower, merchant or consumer due to inaccurate assumptions. For example, credit risks may be affected by changes in the political, economic or social environment, volatility in the financial markets or credit cycles, rising interest rates, changes in consumer behavior, legal or regulatory changes, and other factors. If our assessment of, assumptions used or expectations concerning the above-mentioned factors differ from actual developments, if the quality of our total loan portfolio deteriorates, for any reason, or if future actual losses exceed our estimates of expected losses, we may be required to increase our provisions for credit losses and/or be subject to increased liquidity risks, which may adversely impact our results of operation and financial condition.
 
Our banking business may subject us to additional material business, operational, financial, legal and compliance requirements and risks.
 
In December 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, announced that our wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore has been selected for the award of a digital full bank license. We must meet all relevant prudential requirements and licensing pre-conditions in the digital full bank license. These requirements and pre-conditions subject our Singapore digital bank to additional business, operational, financial and legal requirements. If we are unable to meet such requirements and pre-conditions, MAS may not grant us the digital full bank license. In addition, we expect to be required to meet the minimum paid-up capital requirement set by the MAS, eventually reaching S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) once our digital bank is fully functioning.
 
We have in the past made, and may in the future, make investments in, acquire or partner with other parties in making investments in or acquiring licensed financial institutions and financial services technologies and providers, including commercial banks. For example, we acquired a controlling interest in a local commercial bank in Indonesia in 2020, and launched SeaBank in Indonesia in the latter half of 2021. We also obtained a bank license in the Philippines, and launched SeaBank in Philippines in March 2022.
 
Banking business, including digital banking business, is heavily regulated and subject to various laws, regulatory requirements and guidelines imposed by the relevant regulators. Such laws, regulations and guidelines may impose rules and/or restrictions on the type of banking products and services we offer, eligibility criteria of our customers, related party transactions, market entry, risk management, corporate governance, minimum capital requirements, capital adequacy, liquidity and/or regulatory ratios, and tax and accounting policies, among other things. Local authorities may have the authority to inspect our operations and conduct periodic and/or ad hoc audits of our operations to assess our compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements and guidelines. They may also have the authority to impose fines, sanctions or order remediations. As digital banking evolves as an industry, applicable laws, regulations and guidelines may change or increase, and we may not be able to adapt to new or revised laws, regulations and guidelines in a timely manner or at all. We are a new player in the digital bank industry, and have limited experience operating digital banks. If we fail to comply with new laws, regulations or guidelines, or our strategies to develop and grow our digital bank business, including products and services, fail to achieve their intended effects, our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our reputation, could be materially and adversely affected.
 
We could be held liable if our digital financial services and products are used for fraudulent, illegal or improper purposes.
 
Despite measures we have taken and continue to take, our digital financial services and products remain susceptible to potentially illegal or improper uses, which could damage our reputation and subject us to liability. These may include the use of our payment services in connection with fraudulent sales of goods or services, unauthorized purchases or transfers, software and other intellectual property piracy, money laundering, bank fraud and prohibited sales of restricted products. Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities such as counterfeiting and to gain unauthorized access to other users’ accounts. We could be subject to fraud or related claims if confidential information obtained from our users is used for unauthorized purposes.
 
Our risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective in identifying, monitoring and managing these risks. We are unable to monitor in each case the sources of funds from users of our digital financial services and products, or the ways in which they are used. An increase in fraudulent or unlawful transactions or publicity regarding payment disputes could harm our reputation and reduce consumer confidence in our services. The use of our products and services for illegitimate, fraudulent, unlawful or similar transactions can also expose us to governmental and regulatory sanctions, including U.S. anti-money laundering and economic sanctions violations.
 
Other Operational Risks
 
We rely on technology and internet infrastructure, data center and cloud service providers and telecommunications networks in the markets where we operate.
 
We are continuously upgrading our technology to provide improved performance, increased scale, security and better integration among our three businesses. If we experience problems with the functionality and effectiveness of our software or platforms, or are unable to maintain and constantly improve our technology infrastructure to handle our business needs and ensure a consistent and acceptable level of service for our users, our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our reputation, could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, our businesses depend on the performance and reliability of our internet ecosystem and infrastructure and contracted data center and cloud service providers in the markets where we operate. Adopting new technologies and upgrading our internet ecosystem and infrastructure require significant investments of time and resources, including adding new hardware, updating software and recruiting and training new engineers. Adverse consequences for the failure to do so may include unanticipated system disruptions, security breaches, computer virus attacks, slower response times, impaired quality of experiences for our users and delays in reporting accurate operating and financial information.
 
The internet infrastructure in some of the markets where we operate may not support the demands associated with continued growth in internet usage. We may not have access to alternative networks or data servers in the event of disruptions or failures of, or other problems with, the relevant internet infrastructure. Interruptions in our services may reduce our revenue and/or subject us to potential liability.
 
We also rely on major telecommunication operators and internet service providers in the markets where we operate to provide us with data communications capacity primarily through local telecommunications lines and data centers to host our servers. We and our users may not have access to alternative services in the event of disruptions or failures of, or other problems with, the fixed telecommunications networks of these telecommunications operators, or if such operators otherwise fail to provide such services. Some of these operators and providers may take measures that could degrade or disrupt, as well as restrict or prohibit the use of their lines for our businesses. Any unscheduled service interruption could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation and result in a decrease in our revenue. We have no control over the costs of the services provided by the telecommunications operators to us and our users. If the prices that we pay for telecommunications and internet services rise significantly, our gross margins could be significantly reduced. In addition, if internet access fees or other charges to internet users increase, our user traffic may decrease, which in turn may cause our revenue to decline.
 
We may fail to attract, motivate and retain the key members of our management team or other experienced and capable employees.
 
Our future success significantly depends on the continued service of our executives and other key employees. If we lose the services of any member of management or any key personnel, we may not be able to locate a suitable or qualified replacement and we may incur additional expenses to recruit and train a replacement, which could severely disrupt our business and growth. In addition, from time to time, there may be changes in our management team that may be disruptive to our business.

To maintain and grow our business, we will need to identify, hire, develop, motivate and retain highly skilled employees. Identifying, recruiting, training, integrating and retaining qualified individuals requires significant time, expense and attention. We may also be subject to local hiring restrictions in certain markets, particularly in connection with the hiring of foreign employees, which may affect the flexibility of our management team and workforce. If our management team, including any new hires that we make, fail to work together effectively and execute our plans and strategies, or if we are unable to recruit and retain employees effectively, our ability to achieve our strategic objectives will be adversely affected and our business and growth prospects will be harmed.
 
Competition for highly skilled personnel is intense. We may need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity to attract and retain new employees and we may not be able to realize returns on these investments.
 
We may need additional capital, but may be unable to obtain it on favorable terms or at all.
 
We may require additional cash capital resources in order to fund future growth and the development of our businesses, including expansion of our e-commerce and digital financial service businesses and any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue. If our cash resources are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to issue additional equity or debt securities, obtain new or expanded credit facilities or enter into securitization or channeling arrangements. Our ability to obtain external financing in the future is subject to a variety of uncertainties, including market conditions, our future financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, share price performance, liquidity of international capital and lending markets, governmental regulations over foreign investment and the digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services industries in our various markets. In addition, incurring indebtedness would subject us to increased debt service obligations and could result in operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations. There can be no assurance that financing will be available in a timely manner or in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Any failure to raise needed funds on terms favorable to us, or at all, could severely restrict our liquidity as well as have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, any issuance of equity or equity-linked securities could result in significant dilution to our existing shareholders.
 
We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities, and our financial position and results of operations may be adversely affected by the implementation of legislation or internationally accepted principles.
 
Tax legislation relating to the digital economy is still developing. Governments in our markets may promulgate or strengthen the implementation of tax regulations and impose more tax obligations on our services and product offerings, which could increase the costs to our users and merchants and make our services and product offerings less competitive.
 
Shopee as the marketplace operator could potentially be required to report transactions made by sellers and other service providers through the platform to the tax authorities in the future and may also be subject to additional tax or withholding obligations. Governments in some of our markets have discussed promulgating or promulgated laws to require e-commerce marketplace operators to assist in the enforcement of tax requirements on sellers and collection of taxes with respect to revenues or profits generated by sellers. If we are held responsible, whether financially or operationally for such taxes, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. We may also be requested by government authorities to supply information about our sellers, such as transaction records and seller’s information, and assist in the enforcement of other tax regulations, which could affect our relationships with sellers.
 
Corporate tax reform, base-erosion efforts and tax transparency continue to be high priorities in many tax jurisdictions, including in our markets or in other jurisdictions we may expand to in the future. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, has published proposals to advance international negotiations to ensure large and highly profitable multinational enterprises, including digital companies, pay tax wherever they have significant consumer-facing activities and generate their profits. These actions aim to standardize and modernize global corporate tax policy, including cross-border taxes, transfer-pricing documentation rules and nexus-based tax incentive practices, and has heightened scrutiny of policies regarding corporate income and other taxes in many jurisdictions. Tax reform legislation has been enacted, implemented or are being proposed in many such jurisdictions. For example, certain jurisdictions in the Asia, Europe and Latin America have already enacted or are discussing new tax laws, rules and regulations directed at the digital economy and multi-national businesses. The European Commission has also proposed a series of measures aimed at ensuring fair and efficient taxation of digital businesses operating within the European Union. Such laws may increase our tax obligations in those markets or change the manner in which we operate our businesses locally, and may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
In addition, a number of markets have been pursuing fundamental changes to the tax laws applicable to multinational companies like us, including developing global OECD guidelines and enacting taxes on digital services, including with respect to digital services tax, sales tax, value-added taxes, withholding taxes, revenue-based taxes or other similar taxes. If these developments lead to enacted policy changes, it may have an adverse impact on our income tax expense and negatively impact our business. Possible implications may include multiple levels of taxation, additional obligations, prospectively or retrospectively, as well as imposition of interest and penalties if non-compliance is determined. Potential heightened tax law enforcement against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We may not achieve the intended tax efficiencies of our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements, which could increase our worldwide effective tax rate.
 
Our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements, including the manner in which we conduct our intercompany and related party transactions, are intended to provide us with worldwide tax efficiencies while adhering to the arm’s length principle. The application of tax laws of various jurisdictions to our business activities is subject to interpretation and also depends on our ability to operate our business in a manner consistent with our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements. The tax authorities of jurisdictions where we operate may challenge our methodologies for intercompany and related party arrangements, including transfer pricing. We could face adverse tax consequences if local tax authorities determine that any transactional arrangements among our group entities were not entered into on an arm’s length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under the applicable laws, rules and regulations, and adjust the income of such group entities in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by our group entities for tax purposes, which could in turn increase their tax liabilities. In addition, local tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on our entities for the adjusted but unpaid taxes according to the applicable regulations. If the manner in which we operate does not achieve the intended tax consequences, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
 
A certain degree of judgment is required in evaluating our tax positions and determining our provision for income taxes. In the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. For example, our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by lower than anticipated earnings in markets where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated earnings in markets where we have higher statutory rates, by changes in foreign currency exchange rates or by changes in the relevant tax, accounting and other laws, regulations, principles and interpretations. Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We have limited business insurance coverage.
 
Insurance products available in the markets in which we operate currently are not as extensive as those offered in more developed regions. Consistent with customary industry practice in our markets, our business insurance is limited. While we have obtained insurance to cover certain potential risks and liabilities for certain businesses we operate, the coverage of any insurance we have may be insufficient to compensate for all losses that may occur. We do not carry business interruption insurance to cover our operations. We have determined that the costs of insuring for related risks and the difficulties associated with acquiring such insurance on commercially reasonable terms make it impractical for us to carry such insurance. Any uninsured damage to our platforms, technology infrastructures or disruption of our business operations could require us to incur substantial costs and divert our resources, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Industry data, projections and estimates contained in this annual report are inherently uncertain and subject to interpretation.
 
Certain facts, forecasts and other statistics relating to the industries in which we compete contained in this annual report have been derived from various sources, which may have used different assumptions and estimates to derive their published data. While we generally believe such sources to be reliable, we have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information. Such sources may not be prepared on a comparable basis or may not be consistent with other sources.
 
Industry data, projections and estimates are inherently uncertain as they require certain assumptions and judgments. Moreover, geographic markets and the industries we operate in are not rigidly defined or subject to standard definitions, and are the result of subjective interpretation. Accordingly, our use of the terms referring to our geographic markets and industries such as digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services markets may be subject to interpretation, and the resulting industry data, projections and estimates may not be reliable. Our industry and market data should be interpreted in light of the defined geographic markets and defined industries we operate in. Any discrepancy in interpretation could lead to different industry data, measurements, projections and estimates and result in errors and inaccuracies. For these reasons, you should not place undue reliance on such information.
 
Our user metrics and other estimates are subject to inherent challenges in measuring our operating performance.
 
We regularly review metrics, including our Game QAUs, Game QPUs, orders, GMV, SeaMoney QAUs, and total payment volume, to evaluate growth trends, measure our performance, and make strategic decisions. These metrics are calculated using internal company data and have not been validated by an independent third party. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable estimates for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring how our services are used across large populations throughout our markets. For example, we believe that we cannot distinguish individual users who have multiple accounts unless certain official individual identification information is provided to us. Our user metrics are also affected by technology on certain mobile devices that automatically runs in the background of our applications when another phone function is used, and this activity can cause our system to miscount the user metrics associated with such accounts. Our user metrics may also differ from estimates published by third parties or from similarly titled metrics of our competitors due to differences in assumptions, methodologies or data used.
 
Errors or inaccuracies in our metrics or data could result in incorrect business decisions and inefficiencies. For instance, if a significant understatement or overstatement of active users were to occur, we may expend resources to implement unnecessary business measures or fail to take required actions to remedy an unfavorable trend. If partners or investors do not perceive our user, geographic or other operating metrics to accurately represent our user base, or if we discover material inaccuracies in our user, geographic or other operating metrics, our reputation may be seriously harmed.
 
If we fail to maintain an effective internal control over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud.
 
As a public company, we are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires us to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, report any material weaknesses in such internal controls and for our independent registered public accounting firm to issue an attestation report on management’s assessment on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting.
 
Our management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as of December 31, 2021. See “Item 15. Controls and Procedures—Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” Our independent registered public accounting firm has issued an attestation report on management’s assessment on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. However, if we fail to maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could in turn limit our access to capital markets, and investor confidence in us and the market price of our ADSs may decline. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions.
 
We may be subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory proceedings.
 
Our businesses and our directors and officers may be, and in some instances have been, subject to claims, lawsuits (including class actions and individual lawsuits), regulatory and government investigations, and other proceedings relating to alleged infringement or violation of third-party intellectual property rights, consumer protection, privacy and data protection, content restrictions, labor and employment, import and export practices, antitrust or competition, securities, tax, marketing and communications practices, contracts, commercial disputes, consumer complaints, and various other matters. The number and significance of our legal disputes and inquiries have increased as we have grown larger, as our business has expanded in scope and geographic reach, and as our services have increased in complexity.
 
As a fast-growing public company, our public profile has grown, which may result in increased litigation as well as increased public awareness of any such litigation. In addition, we may be the target of securities class action and derivative lawsuits, as well as other types of claims. We will need to defend against such lawsuits, including any appeals, and we may also initiate legal proceedings to protect our rights and interests. We may also be subject to regulatory and government investigations or actions in various jurisdictions. There is substantial uncertainty regarding the scope and application of many of the laws and regulations to which we are subject, which increases the risk that we will be subject to actions or claims alleging violations of those laws and regulations. Any adverse outcome could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
In particular, we will need to defend against the putative shareholder class action lawsuit described in “Item 8. Financial Information — A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information — Legal and Administrative Proceedings,” including any appeals of such action. We are currently unable to ascertain the possible loss or possible range of loss, if any, associated with the resolution of this lawsuit. The litigation process may utilize our cash resources and divert management’s attention from the day-to-day operations of our company, all of which could materially harm our business. An adverse determination in this lawsuit, including an adverse determination on appeal in this lawsuit, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Regardless of its outcome, any legal proceeding can have a material adverse effect on us due to costs, diversion of our resources, negative publicity and other factors. We may decide to settle legal disputes, including on terms that are unfavorable to us. If any litigation to which we are a party is resolved adversely, we may be subject to an unfavorable judgment that we may not choose to appeal or that may not be reversed upon appeal. We may have to seek a license or settlement terms to continue practices alleged or found to be in violation of a third party’s rights. If we are required or choose to enter into royalty or licensing arrangements or other settlement terms, such arrangements may not be available on reasonable terms, or at all, and may significantly increase our operating costs and expenses. As a result, we may also be required to develop or procure alternative technology or products or discontinue the use of certain allegedly infringing technology or products, and doing so could require significant effort and expense, or may not be feasible. In addition, the terms of any settlement or judgment in connection with any legal claims, lawsuits, or proceedings may require us to cease some or all of our operations, make changes to our business operations or other practices, terminate agreements, arrangements or transactions found to be violative of applicable laws or regulations, or pay fines or substantial amounts to the other party to those proceedings and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.
 
The laws and regulations in some of our markets place restrictions on foreign investment in and ownership of entities engaged in a number of business activities. To comply with the relevant laws and regulations, we and certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and Singapore have entered into a series of contractual arrangements with certain local entities, or VIEs, and their shareholders who are local citizens, which enable us to (i) exercise effective control over such VIEs, (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits and absorb the losses of such VIEs, and (iii) have an exclusive call option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in and/or assets of such VIEs when and to the extent permitted under the relevant laws. Because of these contractual arrangements, we have control over and are the primary beneficiary of such VIEs and hence consolidate their financial results under U.S. GAAP. For the year ended December 31, 2021, revenue from all our VIEs (which excludes entities for which we have majority direct equity ownership) accounted for 6.9% of our total revenue. None of our VIEs is individually a significant subsidiary as defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements among Our VIEs, Their Shareholders and Us.”
 
In Thailand, we conduct our business activities using a tiered shareholding structure in which direct foreign ownership in each Thai entity is less than 50%. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Thailand Shareholding Structure.” As Thai laws only consider the immediate level of shareholding, no cumulative or look-through calculation is applied to determine the foreign ownership status of a company when it has several levels of foreign shareholding. Such shareholding structure has allowed us to consolidate our Thai operating entities as our subsidiaries.
 
While we believe the structural or contractual arrangements we use are in compliance with applicable local laws, the local or national authorities or regulatory agencies in such jurisdictions may reach a different conclusion, which could lead to an action being brought against us, the VIEs and their shareholders by administrative orders or in local courts. If local authorities find that our arrangements do not comply with their prohibition or restrictions on foreign investment in our lines of business, or if the relevant government otherwise finds that we or any of our subsidiaries, VIEs or their subsidiaries are in violation of the relevant laws or regulations or lack the necessary registrations, permits or licenses to operate our businesses in such jurisdictions, they would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations or failures, including:
 

revoking the business licenses and/or operating licenses of such entities;
 

discontinuing or placing restrictions or onerous conditions on the operations of our VIEs or Thai subsidiaries, or on our operations through any transactions between our company or our Cayman Islands or Singapore subsidiaries on the one hand and our VIEs, subsidiaries of such VIEs or our Thai subsidiaries on the other hand;
 

imposing fines, prohibiting payments by our VIEs or their shareholders to us as contemplated in the contractual arrangements with our VIEs, confiscating income from us, our Cayman Islands or Singapore subsidiaries, VIEs or Thai subsidiaries, or imposing other requirements with which such entities may not be able to comply;
 

imposing criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment on our VIEs or Thai subsidiaries, their shareholders or directors;
 

requiring us to restructure our ownership structure or operations, including terminating the contractual arrangements with our VIEs and their shareholders, which in turn would affect our ability to consolidate, derive economic interests from, or exert effective control over our VIEs or Thai subsidiaries; or
 

restricting or prohibiting us from providing funding to our business and operations in Vietnam and Thailand.
 
Any of these actions could disrupt the business operations of such entity and may damage our reputation, which would in turn adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of these occurrences results in our inability to direct the activities of our VIEs or Thai subsidiaries that most significantly impact such entity’s economic performance, or prevent us from receiving the economic benefits or absorbing losses from such entity, we may not be able to consolidate the entity in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
 
The shareholders of our VIEs are our local employees or other local citizens. None of these shareholders has a significant equity interest in our company and thus their interests may not be aligned with ours, or they may have other potential conflicts of interest with us. These shareholders of our VIEs may breach, or cause our VIEs to breach, the existing contractual arrangements we have with them and our VIEs, which would adversely affect our ability to effectively control our VIEs and receive economic benefits and absorb losses from them. Currently, we do not have any arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest between these shareholders and our company. If our VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under any such contractual arrangements, fail to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or take other actions that are detrimental to our interests, we may incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. We may also have to rely on legal remedies, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages. Such legal remedies may differ between jurisdictions, and may be more difficult to pursue than those available in the United States. In addition, if any third parties claim any interest in the equity interests of our VIEs, our ability to exercise shareholders’ rights or foreclose the share pledge according to the contractual arrangements may be impaired. If any dispute relating to these contracts remains unresolved, we will have to enforce our rights under these contracts through the operations of the laws where our VIEs are located and through arbitration, litigation or other legal proceedings and therefore will be subject to uncertainties in the legal systems in the relevant jurisdiction. Our contractual arrangements with our VIEs may not be as effective in ensuring our control over the relevant portion of our business operations as direct ownership would be.
 
As part of our structural arrangements with our VIEs, certain of our VIEs hold certain licenses and assets that are used in the operation of their business in the relevant jurisdictions. If any of our VIEs go bankrupt and all or part of their assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, we may be unable to continue some or all of the business activities conducted by such VIEs. Under the structural arrangements, our VIEs may not, in any manner, sell, transfer, mortgage or dispose of their assets or legal or beneficial interests in the business without our prior consent. If our VIEs undergo a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, their independent third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering our ability to operate the business the VIEs currently conduct, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
There are risks relating to joint venture or partnership arrangements.
 
We may carry out operations through joint ventures, subsidiaries that are not wholly owned by us, or other partnerships with third parties in certain markets. Such arrangements may carry a higher risk than operating through wholly owned subsidiaries. If there are disagreements between us and the other shareholders of entities operating under such arrangements, we cannot assure you that we will be able to resolve them in a manner that will be in our best interests. We may also not be able to make decisions as quickly as compared to wholly owned operations. These other shareholders may have interests that are inconsistent with ours. All or any such factors could have an adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. There may also be heightened government scrutiny of shareholding arrangements in industries or sectors that have foreign ownership restrictions. If local or national authorities reach a different conclusion, they would have broad discretion including imposing penalties, and the business operations of such entity could be disrupted, and our reputation may be damaged.
 
MARKETS RELATED RISKS
 
Our businesses and operations in Taiwan may be materially and adversely impacted if we are deemed to be a PRC investor.

Although there have been significant economic and cultural interactions and relationships established between Taiwan and the PRC, there have been and remain tensions between the governments of Taiwan and the PRC regarding the international political status of Taiwan. Such tensions may affect the economic and social activities in Taiwan, which may in turn affect our businesses and operations in Taiwan. The Taiwan government has historically imposed prohibitions and restrictions on investments, directly and indirectly, by PRC investors. “PRC investors” refer to PRC individuals, juristic persons, organizations and other institutions, and PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions. “PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions” refer to those entities incorporated outside of the PRC and invested by PRC individuals, juristic persons, organizations and other institutions that: (i) directly or indirectly hold more than 30% of the shares or capital of such entities (each intermediate holding company shall be separately assessed based on this 30% test to determine whether it is deemed a PRC invested company from other jurisdictions), or (ii) have the ability to control such entities. Under the current policies on PRC investments in Taiwan, PRC investors are allowed to invest, upon prior approval, in Taiwan companies that operate business in the statutory business categories listed as permitted in the Positive Listings promulgated by the Taiwan authorities, and are prohibited or restricted from investing in all other businesses. In addition, if a PRC investor is a juristic person, organization, or other institution invested by (a) the “political party,” military, administrative or political agency of PRC, or (b) PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions (defined in “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulation—Taiwan—Regulations on Foreign Investment”) invested by the agency listed in item (a) above, the Taiwan authorities may restrict or prohibit such PRC investor from investing in businesses in Taiwan.
 
Under Taiwan company law, a Taiwan company is required to select from a statutory list of business categories for inclusion in its corporate registration based on various aspects of its business operations. Some of the statutory categories currently listed in the corporate registration of our Taiwan operating entities include computer recreational activities, software publication, third-party payments, general advertising services and sales of certain medical or cosmetics related goods that are not within the Positive Listings. The other statutory business categories currently listed in the business scope of the corporate registration of our Taiwan operating entities are within the Positive Listings, including the data processing services listed in the corporate registration of our digital entertainment and e-commerce business entities, and the software design services currently listed in the corporate registration of our digital entertainment business entity.
 
We do not believe, based on advice from our Taiwan counsel, LCS & Partners, that we are a PRC investor under existing Taiwan law and court judgments. Therefore, we do not believe that we are prohibited from operating businesses that have statutory business categories not listed as permitted in the Positive Listings or that we need to seek prior PRC investment approval for operating businesses that have statutory business categories listed as permitted in the Positive Listings. We currently operate our digital entertainment and e-commerce businesses in Taiwan through our wholly-owned branch offices in Taiwan. Both of such entities were acquired or established upon approval by the relevant Taiwan government authorities. However, should the Taiwan authorities deem us to be a PRC investor, the Taiwan authorities may take a range of actions, including:
 

imposing fines between NT$120,000 (US$4,326) to NT$25,000,000 (US$901,226) and further fines if the non-compliance is not rectified as ordered;
 

ordering us to reduce any direct or indirect ownership or control by PRC investors in our company;
 

requesting us to divest some or all of our ownership or control in our operating entities in Taiwan;
 

suspending the rights of shareholders of our Taiwan operating entities; and
 

discontinuing the operations and revoking the business licenses of our Taiwan operating entities.
 
If any such action is taken, our operations in Taiwan and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
 
Uncertainties with respect to the legal system in certain of our markets could adversely affect us.
 
The legal systems in many of our markets vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have a civil law system based on written statutes and others are based on common law. Unlike the common law system, prior court decisions under the civil law system may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value.
 
Many of the markets in which we operate have not developed a fully integrated legal system, and laws and regulations may not cover all aspects of economic activities in such markets with a high degree of certainty or predictability. In particular, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties, and the application of some of these laws and regulations to our businesses is not settled. Since local administrative and court authorities may have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory provisions, legal principles and contractual terms, it may be difficult to evaluate or predict the outcome of administrative and court proceedings or the level of legal protection we have in many markets in which we operate. Local courts may have broad discretion to reject enforcement of foreign court decisions or arbitration awards. These uncertainties may affect our judgment on the relevance of legal requirements and our ability to enforce our contractual rights or claims. In addition, the legal and regulatory uncertainties in such markets may be exploited by other parties through unmerited or frivolous legal actions, claims concerning the conduct of third parties, or threats in attempt to extract payments or benefits from us.
 
Many jurisdictions in our markets have enacted, and may enact or amend from time to time, laws and regulations governing the distribution of content and communications, including games, services, advertising, marketing, messages, applications, electronic documents and other information through the internet or on digital platforms. The relevant government authorities may prohibit the distribution of information through the internet that they deem to be objectionable on various grounds, such as public interest or public security, obscene, offensive or defamatory content, or to otherwise be in violation of local laws and regulations. If any information disseminated through our platforms were deemed by any relevant government authorities to violate content restrictions, we may not be able to continue to display such content and could be subject to penalties, including confiscation of the property used in the non-compliant acts, removal of the infringing content, temporary or permanent blocks, administrative fines, suspension of business, revocation of the registration to act as an electronic systems provider and revocation of required licenses, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Many of the legal and regulatory requirements in markets where we operate are based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all and may have retroactive effect. There are other circumstances where key regulatory definitions are unclear, imprecise or missing, or where interpretations that are adopted by regulators or governmental authorities are inconsistent with previous interpretations or interpretations adopted by courts in analogous cases. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation or alleged violation of certain policies and rules until sometime after the violation. In addition, any administrative and court proceedings in our markets may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.
 
It is possible that a number of laws and regulations may be adopted or construed to apply to us that could restrict or otherwise impact our industries. Scrutiny and regulation of the industries in which we operate may further increase, and we may be required to devote additional legal and other resources to addressing such regulation. For example, existing laws or new laws regarding the regulation of currency, money laundering, banking institutions, unclaimed property, e-commerce, consumer and data protection and intermediary payments may be interpreted to cover virtual items offered in our digital entertainment business and services offered on our e-commerce platform or through our mobile wallet networks. Changes in current laws or regulations or the imposition of new laws and regulations regarding our industries may slow the growth of our industries and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
It is not certain if Sea Limited will be classified as a Singapore tax resident.
 
Under the Income Tax Act 1947 of Singapore, or the Singapore Income Tax Act, a company established outside Singapore but whose governing body, being the board of directors, usually exercises de facto control and management of its business in Singapore could be considered a tax resident in Singapore. However, such control and management of the business should not be deemed to be in Singapore if physical board meetings are mainly conducted outside of Singapore. Where board resolutions are passed in the form of written consent signed by the directors each acting in their own jurisdictions, or where the board meetings are held by teleconference or videoconference, it is possible that the place of de facto control and management will be considered to be where the majority of the board are located when they sign such consent or attend such conferences.
 
We believe that Sea Limited is not a Singapore tax resident for Singapore income tax purposes. However, the tax residence status of Sea Limited is subject to determination by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, or IRAS, and uncertainties remain with respect to the interpretation of the term “control and management” for the purposes of the Singapore Income Tax Act. If IRAS determines that Sea Limited is a Singapore tax resident for Singapore income tax purposes, the portion of Sea Limited’s single company income on an unconsolidated basis that is received or deemed by the Singapore Income Tax Act to be received in Singapore, where applicable, may be subject to Singapore income tax at the prevailing tax rate of 17% before applicable income tax exemptions or relief. If Sea Limited is regarded as a Singapore tax resident, any dividends received or deemed received by Sea Limited in Singapore from subsidiaries located in a foreign jurisdiction with a rate of income tax or tax of a similar nature of no more than 15% may generally be subject to additional Singapore income tax where there is no other applicable tax treaty between such foreign jurisdiction and Singapore. Income is considered to have been received in Singapore when it is: (i) remitted to, transmitted or brought into Singapore; (ii) applied in or towards satisfaction of any debt incurred in respect of a trade or business carried on in Singapore; or (iii) applied to purchase any movable property that is brought into Singapore. In addition, as Singapore does not impose withholding tax on dividends declared by Singapore resident companies, if Sea Limited is considered a Singapore tax resident, dividends paid to the holders of our ordinary shares and ADSs will not be subject to withholding tax in Singapore. Regardless of whether or not Sea Limited is regarded as a Singapore tax resident, holders of our ordinary shares or the ADSs who are not Singapore tax residents would generally not be subject to Singapore income tax on gains derived from the disposal of our ordinary shares or the ADSs if such shareholders do not maintain a permanent establishment in Singapore, to which the disposition gains may be effectively connected, and the entire process (including the negotiation, deliberation, execution of the acquisition and sale, etc.) leading up to the actual acquisition and sale of the ADSs or our ordinary shares is performed outside of Singapore. For Singapore resident shareholders, if the gain from disposal of our ordinary shares or the ADSs is considered by IRAS as income in nature, such gain will generally be subject to Singapore income tax, and not taxable in Singapore if the gain is considered by IRAS as capital gains in nature. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation—Singapore Taxation—Income Tax—Gains With Respect to Disposition of Our ADSs or Our Ordinary Shares.”
 
It will be difficult to acquire jurisdiction and enforce liabilities against our assets based in some of our markets.
 
Substantially all of our assets are located outside the United States. In addition, substantially all of our directors and executive officers are nationals or residents of jurisdictions other than the United States and substantially all of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for our shareholders to effect service of process within the United States upon us or these persons, or to enforce judgments obtained in the United States courts against us or them, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States. It may also be difficult for you to enforce judgments obtained in the United States based on the civil liability provisions of the United States federal securities laws against us and our directors and executive officers. Even if our shareholders are successful in bringing an action of this kind, they may be unable or may find it difficult to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and executive officers due to the laws of the Cayman Islands and of the jurisdictions that comprise our markets. Management has been advised that Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and many of the other jurisdictions within Southeast Asia do not have treaties providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts with the United States. It is unclear if extradition treaties now in effect between the United States and some of our markets, such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, would permit effective enforcement of criminal or other penalties, including those under U.S. federal securities laws.
 
The ability of our subsidiaries to distribute dividends to us may be subject to restrictions under the laws of their respective jurisdictions.
 
We are a holding company, and have subsidiaries located globally. Part of our primary internal sources of funds to meet our cash needs is our share of the dividends, if any, paid by our subsidiaries. The distribution of dividends to us from the subsidiaries in the markets where we operate may be subject to restrictions imposed by the applicable laws and regulations. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulation.” In addition, although there are currently no foreign exchange control regulations which restrict the ability of our subsidiaries in most of our markets to distribute dividends to us, the relevant regulations may be changed and the ability of these subsidiaries to distribute dividends to us may be restricted in the future.
 
Restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to receive and use our cash effectively.
 
A significant portion of our revenue and expenses are denominated in currencies subject to exchange control. If revenue denominated in such currencies increase or expenses denominated in such currencies decrease in the future, we may need to convert a portion of our revenue into other currencies to meet our foreign currency obligations. Currently, in Taiwan, a single remittance by a company for an amount over US$1 million or its equivalent in foreign currency shall be reported and documents supporting the accuracy of such report shall be provided to the bank handling such remittance before the remittance is conducted. In addition, remittances by a company in annual aggregate amounts exceeding US$50 million or its equivalent in foreign currency may not be processed without the approval of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan). In Vietnam, exchanging Vietnamese dong into foreign currency must be conducted at a licensed credit institution such as a licensed commercial bank. Conversion of Thai baht to another currency is subject to regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Thailand. Conversion of Indonesian rupiah into any foreign currency that exceeds certain specific threshold is required to have an underlying transaction and supported by underlying transaction documents. In Malaysia, the foreign exchange policy requires the approval of the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) for cross border remittances which are either set out in the foreign exchange notices or applied for on an ad hoc basis. BNM has the discretion whether to grant its approval, and to impose any condition on such approval so there is no assurance that its approval will be granted. We may be unable to convert such local currencies into U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies to pay dividends or for other purposes on a timely basis or at all.
 
RISKS RELATED TO THE ADSs
 
The trading price of the ADSs is likely to be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to investors.
 
The trading price of the ADSs is likely to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to factors beyond our control. This may happen because of broad market and industry factors, including the performance and fluctuation of the market prices of other companies with business operations located mainly in the same markets as us that have listed their securities in the United States. The stock markets have recently experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many technology companies. In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for the ADSs may be highly volatile for factors specific to our own operations, including the following:
 

variations in our quarterly or annual revenue, earnings and cash flow;
 

guidance or other projections we may provide to the public, including any changes or failure to meet any guidance or other projections;
 

announcements of new investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or joint ventures by us or our competitors;
 

announcements of new content and services or plans of expansion by us or our competitors;
 

changes in financial estimates by securities analysts, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;
 

downgrades by industry or securities analysts that publish research or reports on us;
 

detrimental adverse publicity about us, our businesses or our industries or investor sentiment with respect to our competitors, our shareholders and investors, and our industry in general;
 

additions or departures of key personnel;
 

release of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding equity securities or sales of additional equity securities, including the perception that these sales could occur;
 

dilution of the ownership interests of our ADS holders due to conversions of our 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 convertible notes, which we may choose to settle by issuing ADSs, or from the unwinding of capped call transactions in connection with our 2024 and 2025 convertible notes;
 

current or potential litigation, government actions or regulatory investigations, including class actions;
 

volatility in the stock market, including price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market, changing trends in the economy, interest rate hikes or other interest rate-related decisions; and
 

general political, economic, or market conditions, or other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism, pandemics, and other disruptive external events, or responses to these events.
 
Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which the ADSs will trade.
 
Shareholders of public companies have often brought securities class action suits against those companies following periods of volatility or decline in the market price of their securities. Sea Limited is currently a defendant in a putative securities class action. See “Item 8. Financial Information – A. Consolidated Statement and Other Financial Information - Legal and Administrative Proceedings.” Involvement in a securities class action lawsuit could divert a significant amount of our management’s attention and other resources from our business and operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit, which could harm our results of operations. Any such class action suit, whether or not meritorious, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully established against us, we may be required to pay significant damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
As we grow our presence and market position globally, we may receive an increasing degree of media coverage. We have been the subject of media coverage involving concerns around new markets, new products or services and business developments, and we continue to receive publicity relating to these concerns among others. Any publicity that is unfavorable or perceived to be unfavorable may affect our business, brand and reputation. For example, such publicity could have an adverse effect on the size, engagement, and loyalty of our user base as well as result in increased scrutiny of our business, including our business practices and policies.
 
Substantial future sales or perceived potential sales or issuances of our ADSs, Class A ordinary shares or other equity securities could cause the price of our ADSs to decline significantly. As of April 5, 2022, the aggregate principal amount outstanding of our 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 convertible notes was approximately US$31.3 million, US$152.0 million, US$1.1 billion and US$2.9 billion, respectively. The holders of our 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 convertible notes may convert their convertible notes in accordance with the instruments governing such convertible notes at the initial conversion rate of 50.5165 ADSs, 19.9475 ADSs, 11.0549 ADSs and 2.0964 ADSs per US$1,000 principal amount, respectively. For the current quarter, being April to June 2022, our 2023 and 2024 convertible notes are currently convertible in accordance with their terms. To the extent our convertible notes are convertible in a given period and converted and we issue ADSs to settle our obligations, the ownership interest of our ADS holders will be further diluted.
 
Our founder has control over key decision making as a result of his control of a majority of the voting power of our outstanding share capital and has substantial influence over our company.

We have adopted a dual-class voting structure such that our ordinary shares consist of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares since our IPO. On February 14, 2022, our shareholders approved the amendment and restatement of our memorandum and articles of association at our annual general meeting. Upon the effectiveness of such amendment, the voting power of our Class B ordinary shares increased from three votes per share to 15 votes per share on all matters subject to vote at general meetings of our company and Forrest Xiaodong Li, our founder, chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, is the sole beneficial owner of all our Class B ordinary shares. The voting power of our Class A ordinary shares of one vote per share remains unchanged. Due to the different voting powers associated with our two classes of ordinary shares, as of April 5, 2022, our founder beneficially owns an aggregate of approximately 59.9% of the total voting power of our issued and outstanding ordinary shares. As a result, our founder has substantial influence over our business, including significant corporate actions including mergers, consolidations, and election of directors. As a board member and officer, Mr. Li owes a fiduciary duty to our company and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of our company. As a shareholder, even a controlling shareholder, Mr. Li is entitled to vote his shares in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of our shareholders generally. Certain actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders. This concentrated control could discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company, which could deprive our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and may reduce the price of our ADSs. It could also discourage a potential investor from acquiring our ADSs represented by our Class A ordinary shares, which has less voting power compared with our Class B ordinary shares, and may harm the trading price of our ADSs. In the event of his death, the Class B ordinary shares beneficially owned by Mr. Li will be automatically converted into an equal number of Class A ordinary shares.
 
The depositary for the ADSs will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our Class A ordinary shares underlying our ADSs at shareholders’ meetings if holders of ADSs do not give voting instructions to the depositary, except in limited circumstances, which could adversely affect the interests of such holders.
 
Under the deposit agreement for the ADSs, the depositary will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our Class A ordinary shares underlying our ADSs at shareholders’ meetings if holders of ADSs do not give voting instructions to the depositary, unless:
 

we have failed to timely provide the depositary with our notice of meeting and related voting materials;
 

we have instructed the depositary that we do not wish a discretionary proxy to be given;
 

we have informed the depositary that there is substantial opposition as to a matter to be voted on at the meeting; or
 

a matter to be voted on at the meeting would have a material adverse impact on shareholders.
 
The effect of this discretionary proxy is that, if holders of ADSs fail to give voting instructions to the depositary, they cannot prevent our Class A ordinary shares underlying our ADSs from being voted, absent the situations described above, and it may make it more difficult for holders of our ADSs to influence our management.
 
We have granted, and may continue to grant, share incentives, which may result in increased share-based compensation expenses and dilution to shareholders.
 
We adopted our 2009 Share Incentive Plan, last amended in July 2019, or the 2009 Plan, for the purpose of granting share-based compensation awards to officers, employees, directors and other eligible persons to incentivize their performance and align their interests with ours. The current maximum aggregate number of ordinary shares which may be issued pursuant to all awards under the 2009 Plan is 176,775,641. In April 2022, our board of directors approved the amendment and restatement of the 2009 Plan to increase the maximum aggregate number of shares available under the 2009 Plan, pursuant to which on January 1 of each of 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026, the maximum aggregate number of ordinary shares which may be issued under the 2009 Plan will increase by 3% of the total number of ordinary shares of all classes of the company outstanding on that day immediately before the increase. We are authorized to grant options, share appreciation rights, share awards of restricted shares and non-restricted shares, restricted share units and other types of awards the administrator of the 2009 Plan decides.
 
We account for compensation costs for all share options using a fair-value based method and recognize expenses in our consolidated statements of operations in accordance with U.S. GAAP. As of April 5, 2022, outstanding awards granted under the 2009 Plan consisted of (i) options to purchase 45,822,745 Class A ordinary shares, (ii) 9,054,694 restricted Class A ordinary share units, and (iii) 181,585 share appreciation rights. As a result of our grants of awards under the 2009 Plan, we incurred share-based compensation expense of US$117.1 million, US$290.2 million and US$470.3 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. For more information on our share incentive plan, see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—B. Compensation—Share Incentive Plan.” We will incur additional share-based compensation expense in the future as we continue to grant share-based incentives. We believe the granting of share-based compensation is of significant importance to our ability to attract and retain key personnel and employees, and we will continue to grant share-based compensation to employees in the future. As a result, our expenses associated with share-based compensation may increase, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
 
Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future, holders of ADSs must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on their investment.
 
We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Therefore, holders of ADSs should not rely on an investment in ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.
 
Our board of directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends. Even if our board of directors decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Accordingly, the return on the investment in our ADSs will likely depend entirely on any future price appreciation of our ADSs. There is no guarantee that our ADSs will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which the holders purchased our ADSs. Holders of ADSs may not realize a return on their investment in our ADSs and may even lose their entire investment in our ADSs.
 
Our memorandum and articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions and a dual-class voting structure that could have a material adverse effect on the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares and our ADSs.

Our memorandum and articles of association contain provisions to limit the ability of others to acquire control of our company or cause us to engage in change-of-control transactions. These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transaction. Our memorandum and articles of association contain a dual-class voting structure that gives disproportionate voting power to the Class B ordinary shares, all of which are held by Forrest Xiaodong Li, our founder, chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer. As of April 5, 2022, our founder beneficially owned an aggregate of approximately 59.9% of the total voting power of our outstanding ordinary shares. See “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—E. Share Ownership.” In addition, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our shareholders, to issue preferred shares in one or more series and to fix their designations, powers, preferences, privileges, and relative participating, optional or special rights and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption and liquidation preferences, any or all of which may be greater than the rights associated with our ordinary shares, in the form of ADS or otherwise. Preferred shares could be issued quickly with terms calculated to delay or prevent a change in control of our company or make removal of management more difficult. If our board of directors decides to issue preferred shares, the price of our ADSs may fall and the voting and other rights of the holders of our Class A ordinary shares and our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.
 
Holders of ADSs may face difficulties in protecting their interests, and their ability to protect their rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.
 
We are an exempted company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.
 
Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records (save for the memorandum and articles of association, register of mortgages and charges, and special resolutions of shareholders) or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have discretion under our articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for holders of ADSs to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.
 
Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. To the extent we choose to follow home country practice with respect to corporate governance matters, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
 
As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.
 
The voting rights of holders of ADSs are limited by the terms of the deposit agreement, and holders of ADSs may not be able to exercise their right to vote their Class A ordinary shares.
 
Holders of ADSs are only able to exercise the voting rights with respect to the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Holders of ADSs may not have the same voting rights as the holders of our Class A ordinary shares and may not receive voting materials in time to be able to exercise the right to vote. Under the deposit agreement, holders of ADSs must vote by giving voting instructions to the depositary. If we ask for instructions from the holders of ADSs, upon receipt of voting instructions from the holders of ADSs, the depositary will try to vote the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. If we do not instruct the depositary to ask for instructions from the holders of ADSs, the depositary may still vote in accordance with instructions given by the holders of ADSs, but it is not required to do so. Holders of ADSs are not able to directly exercise the right to vote with respect to the underlying Class A ordinary shares unless holders of ADSs withdraw their Class A ordinary shares from the depositary and become a registered holder of such shares. When a general meeting is convened, holders of ADSs may not receive sufficient advance notice to withdraw their Class A ordinary shares to allow them to vote with respect to any specific matter. If we ask for instructions from holders of ADSs, the depositary will notify holders of ADSs of the upcoming vote and will arrange to deliver our voting materials to holders of ADSs. We have agreed to give the depositary prior notice of shareholder meetings as far in advance of the meeting date as practicable. Nevertheless, we cannot assure you that holders of ADSs will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that holders of ADSs can instruct the depositary to vote the Class A ordinary shares underlying their ADSs. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for their manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that holders of ADSs may not be able to exercise the right to vote and may have no legal remedy if the Class A ordinary shares underlying our ADSs are not voted as they requested.
 
Holders of ADSs may be subject to limitations on the transfer of their ADSs.
 
Our ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our share register or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary thinks it is advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.
 
We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to domestic public companies in the United States.
 
As a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain disclosure and other requirements and obligations that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including: (i) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K with the SEC; (ii) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act; (iii) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and “short swing” liability for insiders who profit from certain trades; and (iv) the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD.
 
We are required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. In addition, we publish our results on a quarterly basis through press releases. Press releases relating to financial results and material events are furnished to the SEC on Form 6-K. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and may be less timely compared with that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, holders of ADSs may not be afforded the same protections or information, which would be made available to them, were they investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.
 
We are subject to the corporate governance requirements of the New York Stock Exchange. However, New York Stock Exchange rules permit a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of our home country in lieu of certain New York Stock Exchange rules. Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, may differ significantly from the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance requirements. To the extent we choose to follow home country practice, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they would otherwise enjoy under the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance listing standards applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
 
If we are a passive foreign investment company for United States federal income tax purposes for any taxable year, United States holders of ADSs or our ordinary shares could be subject to adverse United States federal income tax consequences.
 
Depending upon the value and the nature of our assets and the amount and nature of our income over time, we could be classified as a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We will be classified as a PFIC in any taxable year if either: (i) 75% or more of our gross income for such year consists of certain types of “passive” income or (ii) 50% or more of the value of our assets (generally determined on the basis of a quarterly average) during such year produce or are held for the production of passive income. Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, royalties, rents, annuities, net gains from the sale or exchange of property producing such income and net foreign currency gains. For this purpose, cash is generally categorized as a passive asset and the company’s unbooked intangibles associated with active business activity are taken into account as a non-passive asset. We will be treated as owning our proportionate share of the assets and earning our proportionate share of the income of any other corporation in which we own (or are deemed to own), directly or indirectly, 25% or more (by value) of the stock. In addition, although the law in this regard is not entirely clear, we treat our VIEs as being owned by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a publicly traded foreign corporation we intend for this purpose to treat the aggregate fair market value of our gross assets as being equal to the aggregate value of our outstanding stock (“market capitalization”) plus the total amount of our liabilities and to treat the excess of the fair market value of our assets over their book value as a non-passive asset to the extent attributable to our non-passive income. Because we currently hold, and expect to continue to hold, a substantial amount of cash and cash equivalents and other passive assets used in our business, and because the value of our gross assets is likely to be determined in large part by reference to our market capitalization, we would likely become a PFIC for a given taxable year if the market price of the ADSs or Class A ordinary shares were to decrease significantly. The application of the PFIC rules is subject to uncertainty in several respects, and we must make a separate determination after the close of each taxable year as to whether we were a PFIC for such year. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. investor held the ADSs or Class A ordinary shares, the U.S. investor might be subject to increased U.S. federal income tax liability and to additional reporting obligations. We do not intend to provide the information necessary for the U.S. investor to make a qualified electing fund election with respect to the ADSs or Class A ordinary shares. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules.”
 
Based on our income and assets, and the value of the ADSs, we do not believe that we were a PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, for the taxable year ended December 31, 2021, and do not anticipate becoming a PFIC for the current taxable year or for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, because PFIC status is a factual determination made annually after the close of each taxable year on the basis of the composition of our income and assets, there can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for the current taxable year or any future taxable year.
 
ITEM 4.
INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
 
A.          History and Development of the Company
 
On May 8, 2009, we incorporated Garena Interactive Holding Limited, our holding company, as a limited liability company in the Cayman Islands. On April 8, 2017, we changed our company name from Garena Interactive Holding Limited to Sea Limited.
 
Sea Limited is a holding company that does not have substantive operations. We conduct our businesses through our subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities.
 
We began our digital entertainment business at our inception in May 2009, and have since expanded our local game operations beyond Southeast Asia and Taiwan to Latin America and other markets. Our self-developed game Free Fire is also currently available in more than 130 markets globally.
 
We launched our e-commerce platform, Shopee, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan in June and early July 2015, and in Brazil in the fourth quarter of 2019. In 2021, we expanded our Shopee business to new markets in Latin America such as Mexico, Chile and Colombia, and to Poland and Spain.
 
We launched our digital financial services platform in Vietnam in April 2014 and in Thailand in June 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2019, we introduced SeaMoney as the overall brand for our digital financial services business. In 2021, we further expanded our digital financial service offerings across credit, insurtech and digital bank services, including launching SeaBank in Indonesia.
 
On October 20, 2017, we completed our initial public offering and listed our ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SE.”
 
In September 2021, we issued 12,650,000 ADSs (including a full exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option) at US$318.00 per ADS for total gross proceeds of approximately US$4.0 billion and completed a registered offering of 0.25% convertible senior notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$2.875 billion.
 
At our annual general meeting on February 14, 2022, our shareholders approved as a special resolution the amendment and restatement of our memorandum and articles of association. Upon the effectiveness of such amendment, among other relevant changes, the voting power of our Class B ordinary shares increased from three votes per share to 15 votes per share on all matters subject to vote at general meetings of our company. Immediately upon the special resolution being approved by the shareholders, Tencent converted all the Class B ordinary shares beneficially owned by it to Class A ordinary shares. Upon effectiveness of such conversion by Tencent, all outstanding Class B ordinary shares are currently beneficially owned by Forrest Xiaodong Li, our founder, chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer. At the same time, the irrevocable proxy between Tencent and Mr. Li dated September 1, 2017 (the “Irrevocable Proxy”) was also terminated. In relation to such termination, the currently effective memorandum and articles of association no longer contain a requirement that the Class B ordinary shares beneficially owned by Mr. Li shall be subject to automatic conversion upon termination of the Irrevocable Proxy. See “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association.”
 
Our principal executive offices are located at 1 Fusionopolis Place, #17-10, Galaxis, Singapore 138522. Our telephone number at this address is +65 6270-8100. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is at the offices of Maples Corporate Services Limited at PO Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman, KY1-1104, Cayman Islands. Our agent for service of process in the United States in connection with the registration statement on Form F-1 for our initial public offering is Cogency Global Inc., located at 122 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor New York, N.Y. 10168. Our agent for service of process in the United States in connection with the registration statement on Form F-3 is Puglisi & Associates, located at 850 Library Avenue, Suite 204, Newark, Delaware 19711. Our website is www.sea.com.
 
B.
Business Overview
 
Our Mission
 
Our mission is to better the lives of the consumers and small businesses with technology.
 
Our Beliefs and Values
 
We have Three Core Beliefs:
 

Our people define us.    Sea shall be a place where talented people thrive at scale, enjoy freedom of ideas and achieve the unimaginable. It shall be a magnet for the smartest, the most creative and the most driven.
 

Our products and services differentiate us.    We aspire to better every life we touch and make the world an ever more connected community through innovative products and services.
 

Our institution will outlast us.    We strive to build an institution that will last for generations and evolve with time, and that is founded upon our core values.
 
These Five Core Values are Sea’s foundation:
 

We serve.    Our customers are the sole arbiter of the value of our products and services. We strive to meet unmet needs and serve the underserved.
 

We adapt.    Rapid change is the only constant in the digital age of ours. We embrace change, celebrate it and always strive to be a thought leader that influences it.
 

We run.    We are in a constant race to success while grappling with rapidly shifting forces. We move faster, better and with more urgency every day.
 

We commit.    Our work is our commitment. We commit to our values, institution, customers and partners. We commit to each other. Above all, we commit to doing the best we can and being the best we are.
 

We stay humble.    We have traveled a long way from our humble beginning and yet, we never lose our humility in our continual quest for greater heights.
 
Together, our Three Core Beliefs and Five Core Values form a consistent mindset which we believe is both a practical recipe for long-term organizational sustainability and also a deeper philosophy for how we want to live our lives. They are a guide for the kind of people we hire and develop, as well as a roadmap for how we interact with our customers, our business partners, and our broader stakeholders. Ultimately, they are our compass: whenever we are faced with a decision, we always ask ourselves which alternative is most authentic to these Beliefs and Values.
 
Overview
 
Sea has developed an integrated platform consisting of digital entertainment, e-commerce, and digital financial services, each localized to meet the unique characteristics of our markets. Our seven markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan were estimated to have 613.6 million people and a GDP of US$4.0 trillion in 2021 according to the IMF World Economic Outlook Database. Southeast Asia and Taiwan region is also one of the world’s fastest growing regions based on per capita GDP. In addition, the Latin America region (including the Caribbean) was estimated to have 640.9 million people and a GDP of US$5.0 trillion in 2021 according to the IMF World Economic Outlook Database. Many of our global markets are experiencing a generational transition to the new digital economy, with digital inclusion bringing consumers ever more closely to each other and online services, by leading internet business models such as our own. Our culturally rich and diverse markets observe a rise in traditionally underserved digital consumers, who require dedicated focus, resources, and respective local market knowledge.

Sea operates three key businesses—Garena, Shopee, and SeaMoney:
 

Our digital entertainment business, Garena, is a global game developer and publisher. Garena provides users with access to popular and engaging mobile and PC online games that we develop, curate and localize for each market. Garena also exclusively licenses and publishes games developed by third parties. In addition, Garena provides access to other entertainment content, such as livestreaming of online gameplay, as well as social features, such as user chat and online forums. We believe we are the leader in esports in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Brazil, which strengthens our game ecosystem and increases user engagement.
 

Our Shopee e-commerce platform was the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan for the year of 2021. We are also gaining traction in Brazil and building a significant presence locally. Since its inception, Shopee has adopted a mobile-first approach and is a highly scalable marketplace platform that connects buyers and sellers. Shopee provides users with a convenient, safe and trusted shopping environment that is supported by integrated payment, logistics, fulfillment, and other value-added services. Our users enjoy the social nature of Shopee’s platform, where users can follow, rate and easily browse for discovery to enhance their retail experience. We also empower sellers with various tools and support such as livestreaming and other value-added services for them to better engage with their buyers. We monetize Shopee mainly by offering sellers paid advertising services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics. We also purchase products from manufacturers and third parties and sell them directly to buyers on our Shopee platform.
 

Our SeaMoney business is a leading digital financial services provider in Southeast Asia. SeaMoney currently offers offline and online mobile wallet services, payment processing and other offerings across credit, insurtech and digital bank services. These services and products are offered in various markets in Southeast Asia under ShopeePay, SPayLater, SeaBank, and other digital financial services brands.
 
Each of our businesses provides a distinct and compelling value proposition to our users, and each also exhibits strong virtuous cycle dynamics, which we believe support our leadership position and provide a strong foundation for continued growth while creating barriers to entry for our competitors in our markets.
 
We have achieved significant scale and growth since our founding. Our total revenue increased from US$2.2 billion in 2019 to US$10.0 billion in 2021, a CAGR of 113.9%. We had gross profit of US$604.9 million, US$1.3 billion and US$3.9 billion in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. We incurred net losses of US$1.5 billion, US$1.6 billion and US$2.0 billion in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, primarily due to our investments in expanding our businesses, in particular our e-commerce and digital financial services businesses. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results—Segment Reporting” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results—Description of Certain Statement of Operations Items—Revenue” for a breakdown of our total revenues by category of activity and geographic market for each of the last three financial years.
 
Our Businesses
 
Garena Digital Entertainment Business
 
Garena, our digital entertainment business, primarily focuses on offering mobile and PC online games and developing mobile games for the global markets.
 
We began our digital entertainment business at our inception in 2009. We offer our users easy access to highly engaging and localized content online that we develop or license, as well as organize and sponsor exciting game activities online and offline. We focus on game development, curation, localization, operation, distribution, monetization, and payments, as well as user community building and esports activities. We also provide access to other entertainment content, such as livestreaming of gameplay as well as social features, such as user chat and online forums.
 
Our Games
 
Our games consist of self-developed game and games licensed from third party developers. We offer immersive games covering some of the most popular and engaging genres, such as battle royale games; multiplayer online battle arenas, or MOBAs; action role-playing games, or action RPGs; massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs; racing games and sports games. In most of these games, users play online in a virtual environment existing on network game servers that connect a large number of players simultaneously to interact with each other within the games.
 
Mobile games have gained popularity in our markets. In December 2017, we launched the first game that we developed entirely in-house, Free Fire, a mobile game of the battle royale genre. Free Fire has enabled us to grow globally beyond Southeast Asia and Taiwan where we initially launched our game business. It is currently available on the Google Play and iOS App Stores in more than 130 markets. We plan to continue to expand our game development capabilities and publishing business.
 
Game Players
 
We have a large and active user base for our online game business. The table below sets forth certain of our operating metrics for the periods indicated.
 
   
For the Three Months Ended
 
   
March 31, 2021
   
June 30, 2021
   
September 30, 2021
   
December 31, 2021
 
Bookings (US$ in billions)(1)
   
1.1
     
1.2
     
1.2
     
1.1
 
Game QAUs (in millions)
   
648.8
     
725.2
     
729.0
     
654.0
 
Game QPUs (in millions)
   
79.8
     
92.2
     
93.2
     
77.2
 




(1)
GAAP revenue for the digital entertainment segment plus change in digital entertainment deferred revenue. This operating metric is used as an approximation of cash spent by our users in the applicable period that is attributable to our digital entertainment segment.
 
Our large user base as well as the team and social aspects of our games keep our game players engaged and also creates powerful network effects that further attract users to our games, resulting in a high barrier to entry for our competitors.
 
In-House Game Development
 
We develop mobile games that cater to the demands of highly diverse markets across the globe. Our game development capabilities are particularly strengthened by our global experience in game publishing. Our in-house game development studios now have more than 2,000 global developers focused on enhancing Free Fire gameplay and building out our pipeline of self-developed games.
 
Third-Party Games Publishing
 
We also curate top third-party game content globally for publishing in our markets. Our market leadership and success in operating and customizing games for our local game players have helped us forge deep relationships with key international game developers in different parts of the world. Game developers choose us to operate their games in our markets because of our leading market position, strong reputation in the online game community, and successful track record of operating and popularizing games in our markets. We are therefore able to source high-quality games from world class developers, many of whom work with us as their exclusive partner in our markets. We rely on our local knowledge and years of game operating experience to select games that will match user needs and genre preferences. We also believe that our large user base contributes to a virtuous cycle. As we attract more high-quality game developers to partner with us, we are able to attract more users with a larger volume of high-quality content.
 
We provide our game developer-partners access to a large user base in highly diverse markets across the globe, enabling our games to quickly become popular. Our services to third party game developers include game launch and hosting, localization, marketing, distribution, monetization, integrated payment infrastructure, including access to our SeaMoney platform, and online and offline community building activities.
 
In particular, we localize licensed games to adapt to each market. We work with game developers to translate game content into local languages, revise game design to suit local preferences, and meet regulatory requirements for each jurisdiction. We also develop exclusive local content for particular markets to enhance game attractiveness to local audiences. Our content localization efforts entail continuing feedback loops with developers throughout the life of the games we operate.
 
Monetization and Payments
 
Our game monetization model is a “freemium” model that allows our users to download and play fully functional games for free. We generate revenue primarily by selling our game players in-game items, which include in-game virtual items such as digital representations of functional or decorative items, as well as season passes. Digital representation of functional or decorative items includes in-game clothing, pets, weaponry or equipment, which players can purchase and utilize within the game environment to enhance their gameplay experience. Players that purchase season passes can receive additional in-game virtual items upon satisfying certain conditions. Players who choose to purchase in-game items benefit from being able to accelerate progress, enhance social interactions, and enjoy a more personalized game playing experience.
 
We offer multiple methods for users to purchase in-game items, including through our SeaMoney platform, the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store payment gateways, other online payment gateways, bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, mobile phone billing, and prepaid cards, including our own prepaid cards, which are sold through agents.
 
Esports and Community Building
 
We believe that Garena is a leading catalyst of the growth of esports in our markets as we organize hundreds of esports events annually and operate the largest mobile-game professional league in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Brazil. We organize esports competitions that range in size from relatively small-scale local tournaments to widely publicized and promoted global esports events that rival the size of popular professional athletic events.
 
Some of our users have become full-time professional esports athletes that compete for prize money in tournaments and sponsorships from large corporations that often also sponsor professional sports. Free Fire’s large and growing esports and streaming community is another key pillar of our user engagement strategy. The game was also named the Esports Mobile Game of the Year at the Esports Awards 2021. As a result, we believe our esports operations generate strong user engagement for our games as well as promote user acquisition and retention.
 
Marketing
 
We devise and execute marketing plans tailored for each market. We market our games through a combination of online advertisement, outdoor and print advertisements, television commercials, influencer partnerships as well as social media platforms and other online forums.
 
Shopee E-commerce Platform
 
Our Shopee e-commerce platform is a mobile-centric, social-focused marketplace with integrated payment and logistics infrastructure and comprehensive services we offer to sellers. It is a highly scalable marketplace platform that provides users with a convenient, safe, and trusted shopping environment. Shopee was the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan for the year of 2021. We are also gaining traction in Brazil and building a significant presence locally.
 
Shopee provides users with a convenient, safe, and trusted shopping environment that is supported by integrated payment, logistics, fulfilment, and other value-added services. We monetize Shopee mainly by offering sellers paid advertising services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics.
 
Shopee’s marketplace model allows it to scale rapidly. In addition, we introduce many social and gamification elements into Shopee which we believe enables us to increase organic user acquisition, user retention and user time spent on our platform. The table below sets forth certain of our operating metrics for the periods indicated.
 
   
For the Three Months Ended
 
   
March 31, 2021
   
June 30, 2021
   
September 30, 2021
   
December 31, 2021
 
   
(billions)
 
GMV (US$)
   
12.6
     
15.0
     
16.8
     
18.2
 
Orders
   
1.1
     
1.4
     
1.7
     
2.0
 

While we primarily operate as a marketplace, we also purchase some products from manufacturers or third parties directly and sell on our Shopee platform under our official store to meet buyers' demand. Bulk purchasing and direct product sales for specific product categories also enable us to offer better product assortment to our buyers.
 
Our Buyers and Sellers
 
Our buyers are individuals and households who mainly purchase from sellers that are within the same market.
 
Shopee sellers are primarily small and medium businesses, brands, large retailers as well as individuals, who view Shopee as an efficient and reliable way of managing the selling process while maximizing customer needs. On Shopee, each seller has an online storefront on which they list their products, communicate with buyers, and complete transactions. Our Shopee Mall hosts brands and large retailers prominently featuring their distinct logos, and offers a premium shopping experience to a broad base of buyers.
 
E-commerce Platform Operations
 
Product Category Focus
 
We use targeted seller engagement and product placement to attract sellers and bring products to our platform. We leverage our deep understanding of local market conditions and user preferences to prioritize product categories that we believe have higher realization rates and profitability for our sellers. We currently offer a general merchandise platform focused on long-tail high-margin categories, such as fashion, health and beauty, home and living, and baby products. Meanwhile, we continue to focus on expanding categories to include an increasingly diverse range of products.
 
Seller Support and Service by Shopee
 
We offer strong support to sellers on the Shopee platform through large on-the-ground teams with deep local knowledge. Our local teams also offer fast and localized operational and technological assistance in using business management tools. Moreover, an extensive network of logistics and payment solution providers are integrated into the platform to provide users with a one-stop solution. We also offer sellers integrated payment, logistics, fulfillment, and other value-added services.
 
Under “Service by Shopee,” we offer a range of value-added services to sellers, including inventory management, online store operations, and fulfillment services. Depending on sellers’ needs and preferences, we may help sellers manage inventory and fulfill orders from warehouses leased and operated by us, operate stores on our platform, or purchase products from sellers for reselling on our platform. “Service by Shopee” is currently available to sellers in our Southeast Asia and Taiwan markets.
 
We take the user experience beyond a traditional online marketplace environment, making online shopping truly seamless. We believe that these efforts help to streamline the whole online business operation from store setup to selling, inventory and revenue management, delivery and payment collection for our sellers, empowering them to achieve greater success in their commercial activities.
 
Buyer Protection
 
We focus on creating a secure and reliable shopping environment for our buyers and have developed robust consumer protection policies and procedures, including the following measures:
 

Seller Verification.    Everyone that registers to become a seller on the Shopee platform is subject to our verification process and must agree to our standard terms of service before opening a seller account.
 

Listing Screening.    Shopee has adopted a set of policies and procedures to prevent and remove listings of inappropriate or illegal goods and to screen out repeat offenders. All listings on the Shopee platform first undergo automated screenings against a list of illegal product names, categories and descriptions. We have developed this list based on local regulations and it is frequently updated by our local teams to reflect the latest regulatory requirements. Listings posted by sellers which are deemed to be of high risk based on our screening will not be visible on our platform until they are manually cleared by our operations and compliance teams. Listings that are not cleared due to regulatory violations or other violations of our terms of use will be permanently removed, and the seller will not be able to edit or re-submit the same product listing. We may suspend or remove accounts that repeatedly submit illegal or inappropriate listings. Moreover, users and other third parties may report listings that they believe to be illegal, inappropriate or offensive for our further review.
 

Shopee Guarantee.    We provide “Shopee Guarantee,” a free service to facilitate transactions on the Shopee platform. Under Shopee Guarantee, we hold payments made by buyers in certain designated Shopee Guarantee account held by us until the ordered products are received or deemed to have been received by the buyer. After this, we release the payment to the seller. If the purchased products are never delivered to or received by the buyer, we will return the funds to them. Shopee Guarantee is available for all transactions executed through the Shopee platform. We believe that Shopee Guarantee reduces settlement risks and improves transaction efficiency and security.
 

Dispute Resolution.    We have on-the-ground teams to help resolve disputes between buyers and sellers. In the case of a dispute, a buyer may submit supporting evidence through our dispute resolution system and seek compensation from the seller.
 
Shopee Communication Tool
 
The Shopee platform offers a live chat function enabling real-time communication between buyers and sellers. Buyers typically use the chat function to clarify product-related details, while sellers typically use the function to confirm payment and delivery information. We believe this communication tool has significantly improved the efficiency and security of transactions and the overall shopping experience.
 
Integrated Logistics Services
 
Logistics is critical for the development of e-commerce in our markets since many of them have terrain that is difficult to navigate and underdeveloped infrastructure. The logistics service providers which we cooperate with include some of the largest and most reliable service providers in our markets. Because of the large number of transactions from our platform, we are typically able to negotiate preferred terms with these service providers for our users. Although sellers are not required to use these service providers, they often choose to do so due to the reliable service quality and favorable pricing offered through us. We also provide last-mile delivery services, Shopee Xpress, to complement the existing capacities of the third-party logistics service providers in select metro areas of our markets. In certain markets, we have made strategic investments into local logistics partners in order to enhance our logistics services offerings to both buyers and sellers.
 
Moreover, on our Shopee platform, sellers and buyers can track the delivery status of their packages and provide feedback on logistics services. We evaluate and provide feedback to logistics service providers to improve the level of services provided to our users, including average delivery times.
 
Payment on Shopee
 
As transactions on Shopee are protected by Shopee Guarantee, buyers make payments to Shopee’s designated Shopee Guarantee account which are then released by Shopee to the sellers upon buyers’ receipt or deemed receipt of the goods. Depending on the market, sellers and buyers can choose from a number of payment options to complete transactions on Shopee, including our own mobile wallet services, credit cards, bank transfers through ATM or over the internet, and cash payments upon delivery or at designated convenience stores. Shopee has already integrated its payment processing system with SeaMoney’s payment infrastructure in almost all of our markets.
 
Marketing and Promotions
 
We undertake both online and offline marketing efforts to maximize our brand awareness and attract new users. Our online efforts mainly include online advertisements through major web portals, search engines, and social media. Our online advertisements focus on promoting campaigns such as Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day, 11.11 Big Sale, and 12.12 Birthday Sale as well as attracting new users by promoting awareness of the convenience, cost effectiveness, and reliability of e-commerce and Shopee. Our offline marketing efforts include display advertisements in locations with high traffic and are carried out by our local teams. Moreover, we conduct targeted promotional campaigns to incentivize buyers and sellers to use our platform. We believe that our investment in marketing and promotions has contributed to our GMV and market share growth, which in turn strengthens our pricing power and enables us to monetize at higher rates.
 
Social and Gamification Features
 
As part of our strategy to enhance user engagement and social activity on the Shopee platform, we have introduced a number of innovative social and gamification features on Shopee, such as “Shopee Coins,” “Shopee Live,” “Shopee Games” and “Shopee Feed.” We believe these features allows us to increase our organic user acquisition.
 
Users can win “Shopee Coins” from making purchases, playing mini-games and participating in campaign activities and then use Shopee Coins to offset the cost of purchase from eligible sellers. Users may also earn additional Shopee Coins by inviting their friends to participate, which we believe further encourages social activity on the platform. “Shopee Live” allows buyers to watch livestreaming by sellers from their mobile phones in which sellers may promote their goods or conduct real-time engagement with buyers for potential sales or brand-building. “Shopee Games” are a variety of mini games that promote in-app interactions between fellow users through achieving individual or group rewards. This feature increases user engagement, interactions, and promotes positive user experiences on the platform. “Shopee Feed” allows users to continuously scroll through a lively ecosystem of multimedia listings where they can “like” or “comment” on as they discover popular items based on platform trends, new inventory from “followed” sellers, and their previous browsing categories.
 
Monetization
 
We have been focusing on building the scale and liquidity of our marketplace, and will increasingly focus on monetization as our GMV and market share continue to grow. We monetize Shopee mainly by offering sellers paid advertising services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics.
 
Revenue from Shopee also include revenue of products sold by us. We purchase products from manufacturers or third parties directly and sell on our Shopee platform under our official store to meet buyers' demand for such products.
 
SeaMoney Digital Financial Services Business
 
SeaMoney, our digital financial services business, is a leading digital financial services provider in Southeast Asia. We began to offer digital financial services in 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2019, we introduced SeaMoney as the overall brand for our digital financial services business. SeaMoney currently offers offline and online mobile wallet services, payment processing and other offerings across credit, insurtech and digital bank services. These services and products are offered in various markets in Southeast Asia under ShopeePay, SPayLater, SeaBank, and other digital financial services brands.
 
The table below sets forth certain operating metrics of our digital financial services for the periods indicated.
 
   
For the Three Months Ended
 
   
March 31,
2021
   
June 30,
2021
   
September 30,
2021
   
December 31,
2021
 
Digital Financial Services
 
Mobile wallet total payment volume (US$ in billions)
   
3.4
     
4.2
     
4.6
     
5.0
 
SeaMoney QAUs (in millions)
   
     
     
     
45.8
 

We continued to work on further integrating the mobile wallet services of SeaMoney with our Shopee platform across different markets, to promote efficient growth of SeaMoney and to reduce payment friction for Shopee users. Moreover, we have been expanding the use cases of our mobile wallet services outside of Sea’s platforms to include other online and offline merchants, along with a variety of third-party use cases. Third-party merchants currently include telecommunications companies, online and offline entertainment service providers such as game operators or app stores, movie theaters, concert/event venues, utility service providers, food delivery service providers, credit card issuers, banks, insurance companies, and car leasing companies. As we increase the number and type of merchants on the SeaMoney platform, we are able to offer mobile payment solutions for a wider range of products and services to meet the daily needs of our users and attract more users to the platform.
 
In addition, SeaMoney provides payment processing services to Shopee in almost all of our markets, which, depending on the operational arrangement in each specific market, may include payments from buyers to Shopee accounts under Shopee Guarantee as well as outgoing payments from Shopee accounts to Shopee seller accounts that are operationally handled by SeaMoney.
 
Moreover, SeaMoney offers other digital financial services to its users through technology, such as credit, insurtech and digital bank services.
 
We mainly monetize our digital financial services business by charging commissions to third-party merchants with respect to our mobile wallet services, by charging fees to third-party financial institutions which offer financial products or lend to consumers on our platform, and by earning interest from borrowers with respect to our consumer and merchant credit business. Marketing of our SeaMoney products and services have been done through offline advertisements and in-app advertisements through our Shopee apps.
 
The financial services industry is heavily regulated and we are required to obtain and maintain certain licenses in the jurisdictions in which we provide financial services. As of the date of this annual report, we have obtained the licenses and governmental approvals necessary to provide electronic money services in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, and to provide loans in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. As we expand our digital financial services business to additional markets, we may need to obtain additional licenses and permits in order to comply with local laws. See “—Regulation” and “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—We are subject to extensive and changing laws and government regulations across our business.”
 
In December 2020, our wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore was selected for the award of a digital full bank license in Singapore. We also acquired a controlling interest in a local commercial bank in Indonesia in 2020, and launched SeaBank in Indonesia in the latter half of 2021. We also obtained a bank license in the Philippines, and launched SeaBank in Philippines in March 2022. For further details, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Related to Our Digital Financial Services Business— Our banking business may subject us to additional material business, operational, financial, legal and compliance requirements and risks.”
 
Our Technology
 
Technology is key to our success as it enables us to operate our business more efficiently, improves the user experience and supports innovation.
 
Our network infrastructure utilizes our private data centers and cloud services that are linked with high-speed networks. We have established local servers and infrastructure in many of our key markets to ensure faster connections and a seamless user experience. We operate at a scale that routinely delivers massive amounts of content to tens of millions of users across our platforms. Our technology architecture has been designed to scale horizontally to accommodate the large amounts of data our network generates. As our user base grows and the level of engagement and activities on our platforms increase, we will continue to expand our technology infrastructure to maintain and improve the quality of our user experience. Our data science technology serves various types of data-intensive computational needs, including high-volume batch processing and multi-variable and multi-dimensional real-time analytics.
 
Customer Service
 
We have dedicated customer service teams. We believe our customer service team is well-trained in assisting our users with issues they encounter on our platforms, gathering feedback on how to improve our services and receiving user complaints and suggestions. Moreover, we have adopted systematic internal procedures to quickly respond to and resolve customer complaints.
 
Intellectual Property
 
Our business is based significantly on the acquisition, creation, use, and protection of intellectual property. Free Fire, our self-developed game, is one of our key intellectual properties. Other forms of this intellectual property include the technology and know-how that we developed and use to operate our e-commerce and payment products.
 
We believe the protection of our trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade names, trade secrets, patents, and other proprietary rights is critical to our business and we protect our intellectual property rights in various jurisdictions by relying on local laws and contractual restrictions. More specifically, we rely on a combination of trademark, fair trade practice, copyright, patent and trade secret protection laws, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions, to protect our intellectual property rights. Moreover, we enter into confidentiality, proprietary rights assignment, non-compete, and non-assignment agreements with our employees, and have confidentiality arrangements with our business partners. We also actively engage in monitoring and enforcement activities with respect to infringing uses of our intellectual property by third parties.
 
While we actively take steps to protect our proprietary rights, such steps may not be adequate to prevent the infringement or misappropriation of the intellectual property created by or licensed to us. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—We may be subject to intellectual property-related risks.” Also, we cannot be certain that the products and content on our platforms do not or will not infringe on the valid patents, copyrights or other intellectual property rights held by third parties. We may be subject to legal proceedings and claims from time to time relating to the intellectual property of others, as discussed in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—We may be subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory proceedings.”
 
Competition
 
Each of the online game, e-commerce, and digital financial service industries in our markets is highly fragmented. We face competition in each of our lines of business in each market where we operate. Some of our competitors may have greater access to capital markets, more financial and other resources, and a longer operating history than we do. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—We may fail to compete effectively.”
 
Online Games
 
We compete on the basis of a number of factors, including user base, game portfolio, quality of user experience, brand awareness, and reputation, relationships with game developers and access to distribution and payment channels. Our competitors for publishing primarily include companies with a presence in just one or a few of our markets, as well as other global platforms and self-publishing game developers. Our competitors for game development include global developers.
 
E-commerce
 
We face competition principally from regional players that operate across several markets and global players that expand into our markets by building local platforms or making their existing platforms accessible to users in our markets. We also face competition from single-market players. We compete to attract, engage, and retain buyers based on the variety and value of products and services listed on our marketplaces, overall user experience and convenience, online communication tools, social features, integration with mobile and networking applications and tools, mobile applications and availability, quality and costs of payment and logistics services. We also compete to attract and retain sellers based on the number and the engagement of buyers, the effectiveness and value of the services we offer to sellers, commission rates, and the availability of support services. In addition, we may face increasing competition from social media platforms, online and app-based search engines through which products and services may be researched and sold, and other content-providing market players. Social media platforms with high levels of user engagement may be able to leverage content and user connections and traffic on their platform to increase the visibility and attractiveness of a wide variety of brands and products.
 
Digital Financial Services
 
SeaMoney competes primarily with existing online and offline payment service providers, including, among others, other mobile wallet service providers. SeaMoney competes with these companies primarily on the basis of network size, transaction processing speed, convenience, accessibility, reliability, and price. We believe that strengths across the e-commerce and digital entertainment businesses position us very well to grow our digital financial businesses and SeaMoney has a significant competitive advantage because of the strong demand in our markets for seamless convenient forms of mobile payments with the continued development of the digital economy in the region.
 
Seasonality
 
Our revenue and other operating results may vary significantly from quarter to quarter due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside our control. For a discussion of the factors that may contribute to fluctuations of our quarterly results, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—Our results of operations are subject to fluctuations.”
 
Regulation
 
This section sets forth a summary of the significant regulations or requirements in the jurisdictions where we conduct our material business operations, namely Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. The primary laws and regulations to which we are subject relate to foreign investment, dividend distributions, foreign exchange controls, game operating, e-commerce, mobile wallet, payment processing, data protection, intellectual property rights, anti-money laundering and terrorism financing and employment and labor.
 
Indonesia
 
Regulations on Foreign Investment

The Law No. 25 of 2007 regarding Investment issued on April 26, 2007 as amended by Law No. 11 of 2020 regarding Job Creation, or the Indonesia Investment Law, states that all business sectors or business types are open to foreign investment, except certain lines of business that the Indonesian government has expressly prohibited or restricted from foreign investment. Under the Indonesia Investment Law, foreign investors can own up to 100% of the equity in game distribution and e-commerce marketplace businesses in Indonesia. We have obtained the investment in-principle license and the business license required for foreign investment companies engaging in game distribution and e-commerce marketplace businesses in Indonesia issued by the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board. In addition, Indonesian investment laws render void any agreements containing statements by Indonesian shareholders that they hold shares in an Indonesian company for the benefit of a foreign beneficiary.

Regulations on the Use of Rupiah

On June 28, 2011, the government of Indonesia enacted Law No. 7 of 2011 on Currency, or the Indonesia Currency Law, which took immediate effect. Furthermore, on March 31, 2015, Bank Indonesia enacted Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 17/3/PBI/2015 on the Mandatory Use of Indonesian Rupiah within the Territory of the Republic of Indonesia, or the Indonesia Currency Law Implementation Regulations. Bank Indonesia also enacted Bank Indonesia Circular Letter No. 17/11/DKSP on June 1, 2015 as the implementing guideline to the Indonesia Currency Law Implementation Regulations. The implementation rules of the Indonesia Currency Law require the use of Indonesian Rupiah for all transactions conducted within Indonesia, including transactions for payment, settlement of obligations and other financial transactions, except for certain exemptions provided under the Indonesia Currency Law Implementation Regulations. Failures to comply with any provisions under the Indonesia Currency Law Implementation Regulations may subject the person to administrative, criminal or monetary sanctions of up to IDR1 billion (US$70,038).

Regulations on Dividend Distributions

Dividend distributions are regulated under Law No. 40 of 2007 on Limited Liability Companies as amended by Law No. 11 of 2020 regarding Job Creation, or the Indonesia Companies Law. A decision to distribute a dividend needs to be made by a resolution of the shareholders at the annual or general meeting of shareholders upon the recommendation of the board of directors of a limited liability company. A limited liability company may only declare dividends if it has positive retained earnings at the end of a fiscal year. Furthermore, the Indonesia Companies Law allows a limited liability company to distribute interim dividends prior to the end of a financial year so long as it is permitted by its articles of association and provided that the interim dividend does not result in the limited liability company’s net assets becoming less than the total issued and paid-up capital and the compulsory reserves fund. Such distribution shall be determined by the limited liability company’s board of directors after being first approved by the board of commissioners. If, after the end of the relevant financial year, the limited liability company has suffered a loss, any distributed interim dividends must be returned by the shareholders, and the board of directors and board of commissioners of the limited liability company will be jointly and severally responsible if the interim dividend is not returned. A limited liability company is required to reserve a certain amount from its net profit each year as a reserve fund until such fund amounts to at least 20% of its issued and paid-up capital.

Regulations on Foreign Exchange

Indonesia has limited foreign exchange controls. The Indonesian rupiah is generally freely convertible within or from Indonesia. The Indonesian Investment Law stipulates that foreign investors are allowed to make capital contributions and repatriate dividends, profits and other income in foreign currency without obtaining prior approvals from governmental authorities and/or Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia. The conversion of foreign currency into Indonesian rupiah for capital contribution purposes does not require any governmental approvals.

On September 5, 2016, Bank Indonesia issued Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 18/18/PBI/2016 on the Foreign Exchange Transactions against Rupiah between Banks and Domestic Parties and Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 18/19/PBI/2016 on Foreign Exchange Transactions against Rupiah between Banks and Foreign Parties, or the Indonesia Foreign Exchange Regulations. According to such regulations, a party wishing to convert Indonesian rupiah to foreign currency exceeding certain thresholds set forth in the Indonesia Foreign Exchange Regulations is required to submit certain supporting documents to the bank handling the foreign exchange conversion, including the underlying transaction documents and a duly stamped statement confirming that the underlying transaction documents are valid and that the foreign currency will only be used to settle the relevant payment obligations. For conversions not exceeding the threshold set forth in the Indonesia Foreign Exchange Regulations, the person only needs to declare in a duly stamped letter that its aggregate foreign currency purchases have not exceeded the monthly threshold set forth in the Indonesian banking system.

Regulations Relating to Game Business

If a game operating platform in Indonesia wishes to rate its games, it may refer to Regulation No. 11 of 2016 on Classifications of Electronic Interactive Games, or the Rating Regulation, promulgated by the Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology, or MOCIT. The Rating Regulation allows game developers, producers, or operators to self-rate the games that they have created, produced or published in Indonesia, regardless of whether such game has been rated in its country of origin. This self-rating will be evaluated by the Games Classifications Committee appointed by and reports to the MOCIT. The evaluation conducted by the Games Classifications Committee will be made based on reports from or information available to the public, periodically, or on a random basis.

The Rating Regulation classifies games into five categories which are intended to guide parents and other users to choose games that are appropriate for the age group of the users. Based on the amount of sensitive content, games are classified into the following age-groups: over three years old, over seven years old, over 13 years old, over 18 years old, and all ages. Games that have been rated by developers, producers or creators, will be included in the Recommended Games Register maintained by the Directorate General of Information Technologies Applications under MOCIT, or DGITA. On the other hand, if a game contains pornographic material, promotes gambling using real or virtual money, or contradicts prevailing laws, such game will not be rated and will not be included in the Recommended Games Register. DGITA may, based on a recommendation from the Games Classifications Committee, adjust the rating of a game if the operator of the game fails to give an appropriate rating. In addition, such operator could face claims from the public should its rating be deemed to mislead users or parents, and DGITA may adjust the rating accordingly. The games that have been classified are displayed on igrs.id, the official site maintained by DGITA.

Regulations on E-commerce

General Regulation on E-Commerce

On November 25, 2019, the Indonesian government enacted Government Regulation No. 80 of 2019 on Commerce through Electronic Systems, or the E-commerce Regulation. This regulation governs not only the restrictions and requirements for e-commerce sellers, but also e-commerce platform providers and intermediary service providers. See below for more details about the liability of platform providers and intermediary service providers under the E-commerce Regulation. Further, this regulation also regulates, among others, e-contracts, online advertisements and personal data protection in the e-commerce sector. This regulation governs local e-commerce sellers, as well as foreign e-commerce sellers if they actively provide their services to Indonesian consumers. The implementing regulation of the E-commerce Regulation, the Ministry of Trade Regulation No. 50 of 2020 on the Requirements for Business Licensing, Advertising, Development, and Supervision of Businesses in Electronic Commerce further provides that a domestic e-commerce platform must obtain an e-commerce trade business license or Surat Izin Usaha Perdagangan Melalui Sistem Elektronik, while a local merchant must obtain a business license that is relevant to their business activities. Applications for both licenses can be submitted online via the Online Single Submission portal. We believe we currently possess the necessary license to operate our Shopee business in Indonesia.

Governance of Electronic Information and/or Documents

General obligation of the government to prevent the dissemination of prohibited content is explicitly provided under Law No. 11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction as amended by Law No. 19 of 2016, or the Electronic Information and Transaction Law. Replacing the MOCIT Regulation No. 19 of 2014 on Controlling Internet Websites Containing Negative Content, on November 24, 2020, the Indonesian government enacted MOCIT Regulation No. 5 of 2020 on Private Electronic Systems, or the Private Electronic Systems Regulation, which revoked the previous MOCIT regulation on negative content. Under the new regulation, all digital platforms that fall within the private electronic system provider category, including platforms that provide offers and/or trade of goods and/or services, financial transaction services, and paid content to users’ devices, are required to ensure that its platform does not contain and facilitate the dissemination of prohibited content. Prohibited content includes those that violate the prevailing law, disturb members of the public and public order, and provide access to or information to access prohibited content. If prohibited content is found on a digital platform, the platform operator must take down the prohibited content identified in a written notice from MOCIT no later than 24 hours upon receiving such notice. If the content is related to terrorism, child pornography, or any other content that may disturb public order, the take down request will be considered as urgent and must be concluded within four hours upon receiving notice from MOCIT.

Failure to take down prohibited content within the specified time period would, amongst others, cause MOCIT to block the public’s access to the platform. Upon removal of the prohibited content, the digital platform operator or the relevant ministry or institution may submit a written request to MOCIT to lift the block on the platform.

Limitations and Liabilities of Platform Operators and E-commerce Merchants

The E-commerce Regulation provides for certain limitations of liability for e-commerce platform providers. E-commerce platform providers and intermediary service providers are discharged from liability for any illegal third-party content found on their platform if the relevant provider has acted expeditiously to remove or disable access to such content after being aware of its existence. However, the E-commerce Regulation does not provide any clear criteria of an expeditious response. As for an intermediary service provider, it will also be discharged from any liability for illegal content if such provider is acting as mere conduit, caching, hosting and search engine providers. More detailed guidelines are provided in the Private Electronic Systems Regulation, which specifically addresses the steps to be taken by user-generated-content platforms, or UGC platforms, to be discharged from liabilities arising from prohibited content uploaded by its users. First, the UGC platform operators must maintain a governance policy governing the rights and obligations of the users and the operator as well as the division of liability arising from the user’s content. Subsequently, the UGC platform must include a reporting feature which can be accessed by members of the public to file a claim or report on the existence of prohibited content on its platform. Further, UGC platform operators must provide the information relating to the uploader of the prohibited content to the relevant law enforcement agencies and comply with the mandatory take down timeline.

If UGC platforms like us fail to employ the abovementioned measures or to act in a timely or effective manner in response to user reports relating to listings or sales of prohibited content on the Shopee e-commerce marketplace, it may be subject to sanctions in the form of, amongst others, a temporary or permanent block.

Regulations on Personal Data Protection and Information Security

In December 2016, MOCIT enacted MOCIT Regulation No. 20 of 2016 on Personal Data Protection, or the Personal Data Protection Regulation. In October 2019, the Indonesian government enacted Government Regulation No. 71 of 2019 on the Provision of Electronic System and Transactions, or the Electronic System Regulation. Both regulations set out the rules governing the protection of personal data that are stored in electronic form. The regulations require any action taken in relation to personal data, including acquisition, processing, storage, transfer, disclosure and access, and erasure, to secure prior consent of the owner of such personal data. Further, under the Personal Data Protection Regulation, the electronic system providers are imposed with a comprehensive set of obligations, including: (i) certification of their electronic systems, (ii) adoption of internal data protection policies, (iii) provision of the option to the owner of personal data to choose whether or not such personal data may be used and/or revealed to third parties, (iv) using legal software, (v) designation of dedicated contact person for data protection matters, and (vi) pre and post notification to MOCIT for overseas transfer of personal data.

The Electronic System Regulation clarifies the data localization requirement by specifying that such requirement applies only to "public electronic systems providers" (i.e. central and regional executive, legislative, judicative bodies and any other bodies established pursuant to a statutory mandate, and entities appointed by the public bodies to operate electronic systems on their behalf). Meanwhile, a private provider can choose whether to process and/or host its electronic systems and data onshore or offshore. Regardless of the location, such provider must ensure that its electronic systems and data are accessible to the authority. However, this flexibility does not apply to a private operator in the banking and financial services sectors.

The Electronic System Regulation also elaborates the right of a data subject to request the removal of any data pertaining to them that are no longer relevant, which is popularly known as "the right to be forgotten." There are two types of the right to be forgotten, which is the right to erasure and the right to delisting. The latter can only be requested based on a court's order.

Electronic system providers are also required to notify the personal data owner in the case of any breach involving his/her personal data no later than 14 days subsequent to the occurrence of the breach. If we fail to comply with the Electronic System Regulation or Personal Data Protection Regulation, we may be subject to sanctions in the form of warnings or written reprimands, temporary suspensions, or may be blacklisted.

Regulations on Consumer Protection

Consumer protection in Indonesia is regulated under Law No. 8 of 1999 on Consumer Protection, or the Consumer Protection Law, which became effective on April 20, 2000. It is the first comprehensive law devoted to protecting the rights of and promoting the recourses available to, users of both goods and services. The law details activities and circumstances that are prohibited such as disclosing incorrect and unclear information regarding the services rendered or promoting false advertising. Violations of the Consumer Protection Law may result in an administrative and/or criminal sanction such as monetary compensation or an imprisonment sanction.

In addition to the above, the E-commerce Regulation also requires an e-commerce business operator to provide certain customer service mechanism for its consumers, including contact number and email address, and resolve any report of damages by its consumers to the Ministry of Trade. Merchants and e-commerce platform providers are also required to give their consumers at least two days to return the purchased goods and/or services or to carry out a cancellation, starting from the time when the goods and/or service is received by the consumer. However, the return of goods and/or services or cancellation may only be conducted if such return or cancellation fulfils certain criteria, among others, if the goods and/or service is damaged or has expired. E-commerce platform providers are also required to provide a refund mechanism for cancellation of a purchase. Failure to comply with the aforementioned requirements may result in administrative sanctions ranging from written reprimands to revocation of the business license.

Regulations on Electronic Money and Electronic Wallet

On July 1, 2021, Bank Indonesia enacted Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 23/6/PBI/2021 on Payment Service Providers, or the Payment Service Providers Regulation, which regulates the requirements and restrictions for all payment service providers in Indonesia, or PSPs. Previously, licenses for PSPs are determined based on whether a payment service provider provides their services on a front-end basis (e.g. e-money, e-wallet, and payment gateway providers) or a back-end basis (e.g. switching, clearing, and settlement providers). However, upon enactment of the Payment Service Providers Regulation, payment system service licenses are reclassified so that they are based on the specific activities provided by a payment service provider. The Payment Service Providers Regulation divides payment service providers licenses into three categories, i.e. category 1, category 2, and category 3. Category 1 license is required for PSPs that conduct the following activities: (i) administration of fund sources; (ii) provision of information on fund sources; (iii) payment initiation and/or acquiring services; and (iv) remittance services. Category 2 license is required for PSPs that conduct the activities under items (ii) and (iii) only, and category 3 license is required for PSPs that provide remittance services and/or other activities determined by Bank Indonesia.

Under the prevailing Indonesian laws and regulations, electronic money or e-money is defined as a payment instrument (i) issued on the basis of the source of funds being denominated in Rupiah that is deposited in advance to the e-money issuer, (ii) where the source of funds denominated in Rupiah is stored electronically in a server or a chip for purposes of transferring funds, and (iii) where the value of the e-money managed by the issuer will not be considered as savings under the banking regulations. The Payment Service Providers Regulation also recognizes two types of e-money systems: namely (i) closed loop systems, where the e-money can only be used as a payment instrument for goods and/or services provided by the e-money issuer, and (ii) open loop systems, where the e-money can be used as a payment instrument for goods and/or services provided by third party providers. A closed loop e-money provider which issues floating funds less than IDR1 billion (US$70,038) is exempted from the licensing requirement. An e-money provider may offer features such as user registration, deposit top-up and transaction and bills payment, while funds transfer, cash withdrawal and any additional features (upon approval from Bank Indonesia) are only available for open loop and licensed e-money providers. Unregistered users can deposit up to IDR2 million (US$140) in e-money value, whilst registered users may deposit and use up to IDR10 million (US$700). We currently have the e-money license in Indonesia.

With respect to reporting obligations, both e-money and e-wallet providers are obliged to submit periodical and incidental reports to Bank Indonesia. The periodical reports consist of daily, monthly and annual reports, as well as a report on the result of independent audit on information system and security testing. Incidental reports include report of data and information in documents submitted when applying for a license to Bank Indonesia, results of independent audit on information system in case of any significant changes, any problems in the payment transaction processing, change of capital, shareholding, control, and/or management, and force majeure events. Any failure to comply with the regulations governing payment service providers may result in reprimands and monetary fines; and, depending on the severity of the non-compliance, may also result in temporary suspension of activities and/or revocation of the relevant license.
 
Regulations on Payment Systems

In December 2020, Bank Indonesia issued Regulation No. 22/23/PBI/2020 of 2020 on Payment Systems, or Payment Systems Regulation, which became effective on July 1, 2021. The Payment Systems Regulation is intended to be an “umbrella” regulation that provides a regulatory framework for the Indonesian payment systems industry.

The Payment Systems Regulation categorizes non-bank payment institutions into two categories, namely PSP and payment infrastructure providers, or PIP. PSPs include most institutions providing front-end services to end-consumers such as e-money issuers, acquirers, payment gateway services providers, fund transfer/remittance services providers. PIPs are generally institutions which facilitate clearing and settlements or back-end services, between PSPs or between other PIPs.
 
PSPs and PIPs will be classified based on transaction size, interconnectivity, complexity, and whether it is replaceable, according to the regulation. Bank Indonesia will assess the existing licensed players to: (i) reclassify the licensee, and (ii) ensure the capability of the licensee to fulfil the new requirements, particularly on capital and financial, risk management, and IT system capability aspects. Based on the assessment, Bank Indonesia will convert the license into a new license. The licensee will need to make a statement of commitment to comply and afterwards, the licensee will be given a transition period of two years to fulfil with the requirements.
 
In addition, by issuing the Payment Systems Regulation, Bank Indonesia becomes the first regulator in Indonesia that adopts a new approach to regulating foreign direct investment by decoupling economic and voting rights, which could affect foreign investors in payment sectors. Bank Indonesia permits foreign investors in a PSP to hold up to 85% economic interests, from previously 49%, but at the same time, Bank Indonesia disregards economic interests in determining control. A shareholder in a PSP will be deemed to have control if it holds at least 51% voting rights in the provider, has the right to appoint members of management in the provider, and holds a veto right in the provider's general meeting of the shareholders. The regulation also adds that only domestic parties can hold these rights. This means that while a foreign investor can hold the majority economic interests in a service provider, a domestic shareholder must remain the controller of such provider. On the other hand, Bank Indonesia does not differentiate between economic interests and voting right in a PIP where a foreign investor can only hold up to 15% economic interests. These restrictions are also applicable to existing providers, if there is a change in the foreign shareholding in such provider after July 1, 2021.

The Payment Systems Regulation expressly prohibits PSPs from: (i) accepting cryptocurrency in a payment transaction processing, (ii) processing payment transactions with virtual currency as the source of funds, and/or (iii) linking virtual currency with payment transactions processing.

Regulations on Online Lending

Online lending in Indonesia is divided into two categories, namely off-balance sheet and on-balance sheet. Whilst online on-balance sheet lending businesses are still subject to the financing company regulations that are applicable to its offline counterparts, online off-balance sheet lending or peer-to-peer lending is regulated specifically under the Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/OJK) Regulation No. 77/POJK.01/2016 of 2016 on Lending and Borrowing Services based on Information Technology or Peer-to-peer Lending Regulation. We have the requisite license to conduct the lending business we currently do in Indonesia.
 
Regulations on Banking

Banking in Indonesia is regulated under Law No. 7 of 1992 regarding Banking issued on March 25, 1992, as amended by Law No. 10 of 1998, or the Banking Law. The Banking Law governs banks’ types and businesses, licensing, legal form and ownership, management structure, and bank secrecy. In 2020, the Financial Services Authority issued Regulation No. 12/POJK.03/2020 TAHUN 2020 on Consolidation of Commercial Banks which requires all banks to fulfil a minimum core capital of at least IDR3 trillion (US$210 million) by December 31, 2022. Moreover, OJK revoked the Financial Services Authority Regulation No. 6/POJK.03/2016 TAHUN 2016 on Business Activities and Branch Offices Based on Core Capital of Banks and enacted the Financial Services Authority Regulation No. 12/POJK.03/2021 on Commercial Banks or the Commercial Banks Regulation on October 30, 2021. The Commercial Banks Regulation amends the four categories of banks called “Buku” to “Bank Categories Based on Core Capital (Kelompok Bank berdasarkan Modal Inti)” or “KBMI.” Banks are divided into four KBMI categories, namely: (i) KBMI 1 with core capital equal or less than IDR6 trillion (US$420 million), (ii) KBMI 2 with core capital between IDR6 trillion (US$420 million) and IDR14 trillion (US$981 million), (iii) KBMI 3 with core capital between IDR14 trillion (US$981 million) and IDR70 trillion (US$5 billion), and (iv) KBMI 4 banks with core capital of more than IDR70 trillion (US$5 billion).

Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights

Trademark and Geographical Indication Law

Before the end of 2016, the Indonesian House of Representatives enacted the Law No. 20 of 2016 on Trademark and Geographical Indication, or the Trademark and Geographical Indication Law. The new Trademark and Geographical Indication Law has expanded upon the scope of trademark protection and adopted the Madrid Protocol provisions for trademark registration in Indonesia.

As of the end of 2020, the enactment of Law No. 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation shortens the trademark registration process and inserts an additional qualification/consideration for the trademark examiner in determining whether a trademark application can be registered. In addition, the Trademark and Geographical Indication Law recognizes two types of international trademark registration application under the framework of Madrid Protocol: an application originating from Indonesia to an International Bureau which is filed through the Directorate General of Intellectual Properties under the Minister of Law and Human Rights, or an application addressed to Indonesia as the receiving office from an International Bureau. To be able to file an application in Indonesia for the international registration of a trademark through the Madrid Protocol, the applicant either must have applied for registration of the trademark in Indonesia or already owns the trademark in Indonesia.

Regulations Relating to Copyrights

Copyrights in Indonesia are regulated under Law No. 28 of 2014 on Copyrights, or the Indonesia Copyright Law. Indonesia adopts the declarative system of copyright protection whereby a copyright is an exclusive right of a creator of content which arises automatically after a creation appears in a concrete form. The Indonesia Copyright Law protects creations in the field of science, arts and literature, which includes, among others, computer programs, video games, photography, songs or music with or without lyrics, and all forms of art.

Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and Prevention of Terrorism Financing

Prevention and Eradication of Money Laundering

Law No. 8 of 2010 on Prevention and Eradication of Money Laundering regulates the types of transactions which are required to be reported to the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, or PPATK, and the entities responsible to report such transactions. Under this law, any party who conceals or disguises the origin, source, location, allocation, assignment, or actual ownership or assets known or reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crimes may subject to monetary sanction of up to IDR5 billion (US$350,189) imprisonment of up to 20 years. Financial service providers must comply with know-your-customer principles and report suspicious financial transactions that it believes is related to money laundering to the PPATK. The reporting party is required to report to PPATK any suspicious financial transactions, and any transaction entered into with its customers having a minimum amount of IDR500 million (US$35,019), or an equivalent value in other currencies, and/or any financial transaction involving the transfer of funds from and to other countries, no later than 14 business days after the transaction is conducted.

Failure to submit the report may subject the reporting party to administrative sanction(s) which will be imposed by the supervisory and regulatory body in the form of a warning letter, public announcement on the action or sanction and/or an administrative penalty.

Prevention and Eradication of Terrorism Financing

Law No. 9 of 2013 on the Prevention and Eradication of Terrorism Financing was enacted in order to prevent the funding of terrorists. Under this regulation, an act of terrorism financing is defined as direct and/or indirect acts in order to provide, collect, grant, or loan funds to persons that knowingly would use the funds to conduct terrorist acts. Companies that fund terrorism in Indonesia may face large monetary fines, have their assets seized and their permits revoked. Moreover, such companies may also be dismantled or expropriated by the government. Financial service providers must comply with know-your-customer principles and report suspicious financial transactions that it believes is related to terrorism to the PPATK. Failure to do so will result in fines of up to IDR1 billion (US$70,038). Financial service providers that provide fund transfer services must also request the sender of funds to present identification and information explaining the purpose of the fund transfer and must keep a record of all transactions for at least five years. Funds of the alleged financers of terrorism may be frozen upon the request of the PPATK, investigators, public prosecutors, a judge, and other legally designated parties.

Regulations on Labor

Under Law No. 13 of 2003 on Manpower as amended by Law No. 11 of 2020 on Job Creation, or the Indonesia Manpower Law, we are not allowed to pay our employee wages below the minimum wage stipulated annually by the relevant provincial government. In certain conditions, a governor may set the minimum wage for regencies or municipalities in their respective provinces. The minimum wage is set in accordance with the economy and employment situation of the relevant province. If we fail to abide by requisite minimum wage regulations in the Indonesia Manpower Law, our directors may be liable to a term of imprisonment of no less than one year and up to four years. Moreover, we may also be subject to a fine of no less than IDR100 million (US$7,004) and up to IDR400 million (US$28,015).

Indonesia has adopted social protection and social welfare programs for employees who are working in Indonesia under Law No. 24 of 2011 on the Social Security Agency as amended by Law No. 11 of 2020 on Job Creation, or the Indonesia Social Security Agency Law. The Indonesia Social Security Agency Law establishes two social welfare programs, namely, the healthcare social security insurance and employment social security. Employment social security covers occupational accident security program, death security program, old-age security program, pension security program, and job-loss security program. Under the Indonesia Social Security Agency Law, an employer is required to register itself and its employees as employment social security participants. If an employer fails to comply with this obligation, it will be subject to a written warning, fines and/or exclusion from certain public services, which relate to business-related licensing, license required to participate in project tenders, license to employ foreign workers, license to outsource company, and building permit. The Indonesia Social Security Agency Law further stipulates that an employer that violates its obligation to provide the requisite financial contributions to healthcare social security insurance and employment social security will be subject to up to eight years of imprisonment and fines of IDR1 billion (US$70,038). In addition, every person, including foreign nationals, who is employed for at least six months in Indonesia, must participate in the social security programs in Indonesia.
 
Taiwan
 
Regulations on Foreign Investment
 
Although there have been significant economic and cultural interactions and relationships established between Taiwan and the PRC, there have been and remain tensions between the governments of Taiwan and the PRC regarding the international political status of Taiwan. Due in large part to these tensions, Taiwan has imposed restrictions on investments by PRC investors.
 
Investment in Taiwan by PRC investors is governed by the Measures Governing Investment Permits to the People of the Mainland Area, or the Measures, which was last amended on December 30, 2020, and promulgated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan, or the MOEA. PRC investors refer to PRC individuals, juristic persons, organizations and other institutions and PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions, or collectively, PRC investors. “PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions” refer to those entities incorporated outside of the PRC and invested by PRC individuals, juristic persons, organizations and other institutions that (i) directly or indirectly hold more than 30% of the shares or capital of such entities (each intermediate holding company shall be separately assessed based on this 30% test to determine whether it is deemed a PRC invested company from other jurisdictions), or (ii) have the ability to control such entities. Under applicable regulatory guidance, “control” is defined to include: (i) having the ability to hold more than 50% of the voting shares under agreement with other investors; (ii) having the ability to control the financing, operation and personnel appointment and removal of the company according to laws or agreements; (iii) having the ability to appoint or remove more than half of the members of the board of directors or more than half of the key members of the other organization that is able to direct a company’s operation, and such company is controlled by the board of directors or such other organization mentioned above; (iv) having the ability to direct more than 50% of the voting power in the board of directors or more than 50% of the voting power in the other organizations that is able to direct a company’s operation, and such company is controlled by the board of directors or such other organization mentioned above; or (v) other indicia of control as set forth in the International Financial Reporting Standards or Enterprise Accounting Standards promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Committee of the Accounting Research and Development Foundation of the Republic of China. PRC investors are required to apply for an approval before engaging in the following investment activities: (i) holding the shares issued by or making capital contribution in a company, sole proprietorship, partnership or limited partnership in Taiwan, exclusive of a single or accumulated investment that is less than 10% of the shares in a company that is listed on a stock exchange or traded on an over-the-counter market or emerging stock market in Taiwan; (ii) setting up a branch office, sole proprietorship, partnership or limited partnership in Taiwan; (iii) providing loans to invested companies invested by (i) and (ii) for more than one year; (iv) having the ability to control a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership or company in Taiwan that is not listed and traded on a Taiwanese stock exchange, an over-the-counter market or emerging stock market according to agreements or other methods; or (v) a PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions acquires business or assets of a Taiwanese company that is not list and traded on a Taiwanese stock exchange, an over-the-counter market or emerging stock market. In addition, if a PRC investor is a juristic person, organization, or other institution invested by (a) a “political party,” military, administrative or political agency of PRC, or (b) PRC invested companies from other jurisdictions invested by the agencies listed in item (a) above, the Taiwan authorities may restrict or prohibit such PRC investor from investing in businesses in Taiwan. Certain statutory business categories, such as computer recreational activities, software publication, third party payment and general advertising services, are not listed as permitted in the Positive Listings. PRC investors are not allowed to invest in a Taiwan company that operates businesses in such statutory business categories.

Before investing in Taiwan in accordance with the Measures, PRC investors investing in a Taiwan company that operates businesses in the statutory business categories listed as permitted in the Positive Listings are required to apply for prior approval from the MOEA.
 
In case of being deemed non-compliant with the above-mentioned laws and regulations, the Taiwan authorities may take a range of actions, including:
 

imposing fines between NT$120,000 (US$4,326) to NT$25,000,000 (US$901,226) and further fines if the non-compliance is not rectified as ordered;
 

ordering the violator to reduce any direct or indirect ownership or control by PRC investors;
 

requesting the violator to divest some or all of its investment or control in its invested entities in Taiwan;
 

suspending the rights of shareholders; and
 

discontinuing the operations, and revoking the business licenses of its invested entities in Taiwan.
 
Foreign Investors
 
Foreign investments in Taiwan are governed by the Statute for Investment by Foreign Nationals, last amended on November 19, 1997. Foreign investors may invest by holding shares issued by a Taiwanese company, contributing to its registered capital, establishing a branch office, a proprietary business or a partnership in Taiwan, or providing loans to the invested business for a period exceeding one year, provided that the business items of the invested Taiwanese company are not in a negative list promulgated by the MOEA from time to time.
 
Financial Support Provided by Offshore Entities
 
According to the Statute for Investment by Foreign Nationals, last amended on November 19, 1997, offshore entities can provide loans for a period less than one year to any Taiwanese companies that such offshore entities do not hold any equity interest in without any approval from government authorities, subject to certain foreign exchange approval requirements in connection with the remittance of foreign currency in excess of certain amount by Taiwanese entities. There is no maximum limitation on the amount of loans a Taiwanese company may receive from an offshore entity. Moreover, based on current laws and regulations, there is generally no limitation on guarantees made by an offshore entity to a Taiwanese company.
 
Regulations on Foreign Exchange
 
Foreign exchange matters are generally governed by Taiwan’s Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, last amended on April 29, 2009, and regulated by the Ministry of Finance of Taiwan, and the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Authorized by the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has promulgated the Regulations Governing the Declaration of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Disbursements or Transactions, last amended on June 29, 2021, in order to deal with the declaration of foreign exchange receipts, disbursements or transactions involving NT$500,000 (US$18,025) or more or its equivalent in foreign currency.
 
Under existing laws and regulations, foreign exchange approvals must be obtained from the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on a payment-by-payment basis. A single remittance by a company with an amount over US$1 million or its equivalent in foreign currency shall be reported and documents supporting the accuracy of such report shall be provided to the bank handling such remittance before the remittance is conducted. In addition, remittances by a company whose annual aggregate amount exceeds US$50 million or its equivalent in foreign currency may not be processed without the approval of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Although such approvals have been routinely granted in the past, there can be no assurance that in the future any such approvals will be obtained in a timely manner, or at all.
 
Regulations on Dividend Distributions
 
Dividend distributions by companies incorporated in Taiwan are governed by the Taiwan Company Act. Under the Taiwan Company Act, with respect to a corporate entity, dividends shall only be distributed after the 10% of annual net income (less prior years’ losses, if any, and applicable income taxes) is set aside as a legal reserve until the accumulated legal reserve equals the paid-in capital of such company. In addition, a foreign company’s Taiwan branch, such as our digital entertainment business entity in Taiwan, is not entitled to distribute dividends or make other distributions and can only remit the profits to its holding company in accordance with foreign exchange control regulations after satisfying the relevant income tax obligation in Taiwan.
 
Regulations on Information Technology and Intellectual Property Rights
 
Taiwan does not have a specific statute with respect to regulations governing information technology. The related regulations are mainly dispersed within the Electronic Signatures Act promulgated on November 14, 2001. The main purpose of the Electronic Signatures Act is to encourage the use of electronic transactions, ensure the security of electronic transactions, and facilitate the development of electronic commerce. According to the Electronic Signatures Act, documents may be maintained in electronic form, and an electronic signature may be used with the consent of the other party. In addition, a non-government agency shall not collect or process specific personal information unless it has a legitimate specific purpose and complies with all of the conditions provided in the relevant laws.
 
Intellectual property rights are protected primarily through the Copyright Act (last amended on May 1, 2019), the Patent Act (last amended on May 1, 2019), the Trademark Act (last amended on November 30, 2016) and the Trade Secrets Act (last amended on January 15, 2020) in Taiwan.
  
Regulations on Imported Games and Game Operations

Operations of online games are regulated by the Regulations on the Rating of Game Software, last amended on May 23, 2019. Game operating companies and agents of game software need to clearly label the rating and warning language on the packaging or webpages of the game according to the rating system under the regulations and register the rating level and plot of such game software in the database of the competent authority to allow for rating level searches prior to the earliest date on which the game is made available for public purchase. In the event the rating level of a game is not labeled properly according to the relevant regulations, the game operating company or agent may be subject to fines, and may be subject to repeated penalties if such non-compliance is not rectified within the stipulated periods.
 
In addition, according to the Recording of Matters in the Standard Contracts of Online Games promulgated by the Executive Yuan on December 13, 2007 and last amended on October 8, 2018, game operating companies need to label the following information on their (a) game websites, log-in page of the game or checkout page; and (b) the packaging of their games: (i) the rating level and the age groups that are prohibited or suitable for the game, (ii) the minimum system requirements for running the game, (iii) payment information for safety systems provided within the online games (if any) and whether such safety systems are free or not, and (iv) information and certain warning language regarding in-game activities, rewards and prizes.
 
Regulations on E-commerce
 
As there are no specific regulations in Taiwan governing e-commerce businesses, operation of e-commerce in Taiwan is regulated by a number of legislations, such as Personal Data Protection Act, the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions, and Consumer Protection Act. See “—Regulations on E-payment Services” and “—Regulations on Data Protection and Information Security” below. The regulation on e-commerce by Consumer Protection Act is generally implemented through the Recording of Matters in the Standard Contracts of Retail Business and Other Online Transactions. According to the Recording of Matters in the Standard Contracts of Retail Business and Other Online Transactions, last amended on July 15, 2016, online retail business is required to present certain information on their website, such as product information, delivery method and location, and mechanism for resolution of consumer disputes.

Regulations on E-payment Services
 
Under the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions promulgated on February 4, 2015, effective as of May 3, 2015 and last amended on January 27, 2021 (such amendments became effective as of July 1, 2021), an “electronic payment institution” means a company approved by the competent authority to operate the following businesses and certain ancillary or derivative businesses as prescribed under the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions: (i) collecting and making payments for real transactions as an agent, (ii) accepting deposits of funds as stored value funds, (iii) conduct small amount of foreign exchange, and (iv) conduct the purchase and sale of the foreign currencies and the currencies of PRC, Hong Kong or Macau. However, a company which (i) only engages in the business of collecting and making payments for real transactions as an agent; (ii) the total balance of funds it collects/pays and keeps does not exceed NT$2 billion (US$72 million) in the average daily amount of a year; and (iii) does not accept deposits of funds as stored value funds, or transfer funds between e-payment accounts is not considered an electronic payment institution. If the total balance of funds such company collects/pays exceed NT$2 billion (US$72 million) in the average daily amount of a year, or such company conducts either accepting deposits of funds as stored value funds, or transferring funds between e-payment accounts, then such company shall apply for certain license to qualify as an electronic payment institution.
 
Regulations on Data Protection and Information Security
 
The main regulation governing the protection of personal data in Taiwan is the Personal Data Protection Act, last amended on December 30, 2015. The Personal Data Protection Act governs the collection, processing and use of personal information in order to prevent abuse of personal data by other parties. Companies that seek to collect, process and use personal information need to disclose the name of the party collecting the personal information and the purpose of collecting the personal information subject to the user’s consent, as appropriate. Data subjects should also be informed of their rights under the Personal Data Protection Act and how they can exercise such rights. Our digital entertainment and e-commerce businesses are required to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act while collecting, processing, transferring, and using the personal information of our users. Failure to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act will give rise to fines and criminal liability.
 
Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and the Prevention of Terrorism Financing
 
According to the Money Laundering Control Act of Taiwan, which was last amended on November 7, 2018, the scope of the definition of money laundering includes the following behaviors: (i) knowingly disguises or conceals property or property interests obtained from a serious crime or transfers or changes the specific gain from criminal actions to assist others to escape from criminal indictment; (ii) covers or hides the nature, source, flowing, location, ownership, disposition and other interest of gains of a particular crime; and (iii) receives, possesses or uses the gain of a particular crime. We will continue to closely monitor regulatory developments in order to continue to comply with the anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorism financing regulations.
 
Regulations on Labor
 
According to the Labor Standards Act of Taiwan, last amended on June 10, 2020, employers are not allowed to terminate employment contracts without cause. Further, the mere transfer of ownership of a company is not sufficient grounds for laying-off employees. Only when the employer is to be dissolved due to transactions under the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act can such employer terminate the employment agreements with the employees that are not offered employment by the surviving or assigned company. Under the Labor Standards Act and the Labor Pension Act of Taiwan, employers are required to contribute no less than 6% of an employee’s monthly salary into a specific account as part of the employee’s pension. Under the Labor Insurance Act of Taiwan, employers should withhold and pay for certain statutory percentages of the labor insurance premiums for employees aged between 15 and 65. In addition, under the National Health Insurance Act of Taiwan, employers are required to pay for a certain statutory percentage of the employees’ health insurance premium.
 
Vietnam
 
Regulations on Foreign Investment
 
Foreign investment into Vietnam is regulated by both domestic legislation and international agreements, with the primary regulations being the Law on Investment and Vietnam’s WTO commitments. Foreign investment is generally divided into three categories: unrestricted, restricted, and prohibited. With respect to the “restricted” category, restrictions can take the form of a specific foreign ownership ceiling in a foreign-invested company, a general requirement to enter into a joint venture with a Vietnamese party with no mandated maximum foreign ownership ceiling, or the requirement to obtain certain government approvals for foreign ownership with respect to the industries that the Vietnam government has not committed to opening to foreign investment. For example, foreign ownership in companies engaging in online game business may not exceed 49% following Vietnam’s WTO commitments (or 51% following the application of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP), and companies with foreign ownership engaging in e-payment or e-commerce business have to obtain certain government approvals. We have obtained approvals from competent authorities of Vietnam for direct ownership of equity interests in our online game, e-commerce and e-payment businesses as a foreign investor, including approval for 100% direct ownership in our e-commerce business.
 
On June 17, 2020, the National Assembly of Vietnam adopted the Law on Investment 2020, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. Under the Law on Investment 2020, the investment registration authority of Vietnam could terminate an investment project in whole or in part if the investor conducted investment activities on the basis of a false civil transaction, which is a transaction falsely entered into by transacting parties for the purpose of concealing other transactions or evading responsibilities to a third person.
 
Financial Support Provided by Offshore Entities
 
Financial support in the form of loans, direct cash injections and guarantees provided by an offshore entity to a Vietnam entity is permitted under Vietnamese laws, including Vietnam’s foreign exchange control regime. Loans provided by offshore lenders to Vietnam entities with a term of more than 12 months must be registered with the State Bank of Vietnam and must satisfy certain conditions with respect to the term, type and purpose of the loan. There is no other restriction or dollar amount limitation imposed on any of the foregoing financial support mechanisms.
 
Regulations on Foreign Exchange
 
Vietnam does not possess a fully liberalized foreign exchange control regime, and the use, exchange and remittance of foreign currencies are regulated by the Ordinance on Foreign Exchange Control and its guiding instruments, along with miscellaneous regulations on inward investment.
 
The use of, and exchange of foreign currencies for, Vietnamese dong, is broadly dependent on whether such foreign currencies are used for capital investment purposes or general transactional purposes. Capital investment comprises both indirect investment and direct investment, with direct investment generally defined as any foreign investment where (i) foreign investor(s) establish a corporate entity and is required to obtain an investment registration certificate, (ii) foreign investor(s) hold 51% or more of the charter capital following a merger, acquisition or restructuring, (iii) foreign investor(s) establish a project company to implement public-private partnership project(s), or (iv) foreign investor(s) hold 51% or more of the charter capital following the establishment of a corporate entity pursuant to specialized laws without being required to obtain an investment registration certificate. Foreign currencies and Vietnamese dong are permitted to be used for direct investments and only Vietnamese dong may be used for indirect investments. All capital investments into Vietnam, whether direct or indirect, must be made through specialized investment capital bank accounts, and any dividend distributions and returns of capital from such investments must be made through the same accounts. There are no foreign exchange control or remittance restrictions imposed on amounts held in such investment capital bank accounts, except for the requirement for supporting documents evidencing valid remittances.
 
Vietnamese dong held in current accounts can generally be freely exchanged for foreign currency and subsequently remitted offshore, provided that the origin of such amounts and the reason for the exchange and remittance are legitimate and legal. Contracts for the supply of goods or services entered into between a Vietnamese individual or company and a foreign company are one of the valid bases for such foreign currency exchange transactions.
 
Regulations on Dividend Distributions
 
In Vietnam, a company is generally allowed to pay dividends or distribute profits after it has settled all of its outstanding tax or other financial obligations, and set off previous losses, provided that the payment of the dividends will not result in the company being unable to discharge its debts and other liabilities.
 
Additionally, the relevant distributed dividend or profit is allowed to be repatriated at the end of the financial year, after the audited financial statements and the corporate income tax clearance have been submitted to the tax authority.
 
Regulations on Imported Games and Game Operations
 
According to Circular No.34/2013/TT-BCT, games are permitted to be imported into Vietnam. With regard to the publication of games, including electronic games, Vietnam’s WTO commitments and/or Vietnam’s CPTPP commitments allow foreign investors to provide electronic games only through a business cooperation contract or a joint venture company with a Vietnamese partner which is licensed to provide electronic games. Foreign investment into the joint venture company generally shall not exceed 49% following Vietnam’s WTO commitments and/or 51% Vietnam’s CPTPP commitments. See “—Regulations on Foreign Investment” above.
 
The operation of electronic games is mainly governed by Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP, which regulates the management, provision and use of internet services and online information, and Circular No. 24/2014/TT-BTTTT of which several provisions are amended and supplemented by Decree No. 27/2018/ND-CP and Decree No. 150/2018/ND-CP, which provide further guidance to Decree No.72/2013/ND-CP. These regulations divide electronic games into the following categories: G1 games (simultaneous interactions among various players via a game server), G2 games (simultaneous interactions only between players and a game server), G3 games (simultaneous interactions among various players but no interactions between players and a game server), and G4 games (those downloaded from a network with no interaction among players or between players and the game server). Companies may operate G1 games after obtaining a License to Provide Game Services and, for each game the company offers, it also needs to obtain a Decision to Approve Game Content issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam. Companies may operate G2, G3 and G4 games after obtaining a Certificate of Registration of Game Service Provision and, for each game the company offers, it also needs to obtain an Acknowledgement of Announcement of Service Provision issued by the Agency of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.
 
Regulations on E-commerce
 
E-commerce businesses are mainly governed by the Law on E-Transactions, Decree No.52/2013/ND-CP, or Decree 52 of which several provisions are amended and supplemented by Decree No.85/2021/ND-CP, or Decree 85, Circular 47/2014/TT-BCT, or Circular 47, and Circular No.59/2015/TT-BCT, or Circular 59 of which several provisions are jointly amended and supplemented by Circular No.01/2022/TT-BCT.
 
According to Decree 85, companies that own e-commerce direct sale websites must notify the Ministry of Industry and Trade, or MOIT, of Vietnam of their establishment if such websites have an online ordering function. Companies that own e-commerce service provision websites, including e-commerce marketplace, online auction websites, and online promotion websites, must register with the MOIT for the establishment of such e-commerce platforms.
 
According to Circular 59, e-commerce mobile applications include (i) applications used for direct sale of goods and (ii) applications for provision of e-commerce services. Accordingly, a company with an application used for sale of goods, which includes an online ordering function must notify the MOIT; while a company with an application for the provision of e-commerce services must register with the said Ministry. However, a company with an application for both sale of goods and provision of e-commerce services must register to establish an e-commerce service provision website and register the e-commerce service provision application with the MOIT.
 
Our e-commerce business in Vietnam has made the requisite applications and notifications and obtained the requisite approvals for the provision of e-commerce services.
 
According to Decree No. 09/2018/ND-CP, or Decree 09, foreign owned entities that provide e-commerce services are also required to obtain a specific business license from the Department of Industry and Trade, or DOIT, where the head office of the entity providing e-commerce services is located. The licensing authority must seek approval of the MOIT before granting the license. In addition, under Decree 85, an approval from the Ministry of Public Security, which examines any national security impacts, must also be obtained by any foreign investors who have “control” in a company under the MOIT’s list on the top five e-commerce companies in Vietnam. Such list has not been released by MOIT as of the date of this annual report. Our e-commerce business in Vietnam is currently in compliance with the business licensing requirements under Article 50.1 of Decree 09. As a continuing licensing requirement under Decree 09, to ensure that we continue to comply with the said Decree, we have submitted the relevant application with the DOIT of Hanoi in November 2021, which is now in progress.
 
Regulations on E-payment Services
 
According to Decree No.101/2012/ND-CP, intermediary payment services include the provision of electronic payment facilities (such as financial switch services, electronic clearing services and electronic payment gateway services), payment support services (such as cash collection and cash payment services, support services for wire transfers and digital wallet services), as well as other intermediary payment services prescribed by the State Bank of Vietnam. Non-financial companies that wish to provide intermediary payment services are required to obtain a license for intermediary payment services. To obtain this license, companies must satisfy certain conditions, such as meeting minimum equity capital thresholds (50 billion Vietnamese dong, or approximately US$2.2 million) as well as receiving prior approval for its plan to operate the intermediary payment services.
 
Our digital financial services business in Vietnam has obtained the license for intermediary payment services for electronic payment gateway services, cash collection and cash payment services and digital wallet services.
 
Regulations on Data Protection and Information Security
 
Vietnam does not have a comprehensive data protection law. Instead, data protection provisions are prescribed across various legislation, which include the Vietnam Civil Code, the Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights, the Law on Information Technology, the Law on E-commerce, etc. which are all issued by the National Assembly of Vietnam. While there is no unified definition, personal data may generally be defined as information that is adequate to accurately identify a data subject, covering at least one of the following types of information: full name, date of birth, ID number/passport number, profession, title, contact address, e-mail address, and telephone number. A subject’s right to privacy is protected by laws. Any collection, publication, processing, transfer to a third party or any other use of a subject’s personal information may require the consent of such subject.
 
On November 19, 2015, the Vietnam National Assembly issued the Law on Cyber Information Security, which sets forth regulations on cyber information security. Accordingly, individuals and companies must implement measures to assure the security of cyber information. For example, entities providing information technology services must comply with regulations on the storage and use of personal information, apply blocking and handling measures upon receipt of a notice that sending such information is illegal, and implement measures to allow recipients to refuse the receipt of information.
 
Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights
 
Intellectual property rights in Vietnam are governed by the Law on Intellectual Property, together with certain international agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory (such as Vietnam’s WTO commitments on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, and the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks).
 
In order for certain intellectual property rights to be recognized and enforceable in Vietnam, intellectual property owners must register those rights. Copyrights may be registered with the Department of Copyright of Vietnam (COV) but the registration is not compulsory. As a member of the Berne Convention, all copyrights will be protected automatically. Industrial property, such as patents, trademarks (except for well-known trademarks) and industrial design, must be registered with the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) in order to be protected in Vietnam, although unregistered rights may be protectable under the laws of unfair competition or passing off. A well-known trademark may be protected based on the use without registration. From November 1, 2019, a trademark license is not required to be registered with NOIP in order to have validity against a third party.
 
Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and Prevention of Terrorism Financing
 
Vietnam’s Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering contains the primary anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorism financing regulations in Vietnam. It applies to all financial institutions and certain non-financial institutions engaged in specific business activities, which include offering games for prizes and payment services, such as those operated by our Vietnam VIEs.
 
The Department of Anti-Money Laundering established under the State Bank of Vietnam monitors and regulates Vietnam’s anti-money laundering regime. Entities subject to the anti-money laundering regime must report certain transactions to the Department of Anti-Money Laundering, including high-value transactions of no less than 300 million Vietnamese dong (US$12,962), suspicious transactions, and transactions involving companies or individuals in the countries and territories on the “black list” published by the Ministry of Public Security. Moreover, apart from the know-your-customer procedures required by Vietnamese law, entities subject to the anti-money laundering regime must perform an enhanced due diligence investigation on high-risk parties, which includes foreign individuals on the list of “politically influenced persons” provided by the State Bank of Vietnam or individuals or entities conducting transactions using new technologies that enable such persons to conduct transactions without meeting in person with a member or staff of the reporting subjects.
 
Regulations on Labor
 
Vietnam’s Labor Code, along with a number of guiding instruments, regulates the relationship between employers and employees in Vietnam, including both Vietnamese nationals and expatriates. It specifies that an employment contract must generally be made in writing. Pursuant to Labor Code 2012, there are broadly three types of labor contracts: indefinite term contracts, fixed term contracts, and temporary or seasonal contracts. However, in accordance with the new Labor Code 2019, effective January 1, 2021, there will be only two types of labor contracts, namely indefinite term and definite term contracts. An employer is only permitted to offer two consecutive fixed term contracts, subsequent to which the employment contract must be an indefinite term contract.
 
Vietnam has a particularly employee friendly labor law regime. Employees are entitled to statutory benefits payable by the employer, including health, social and unemployment insurance. Since 2009, unemployment insurance replaced the employer’s compensation of severance to an employee upon the termination of employment. Moreover, non-compete, non-solicitation and any other labor contract clauses which may be deemed to interfere in a person’s right to seek employment are difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.
 
Thailand
 
Regulations on Foreign Investment
 
Foreign investment in Thailand is regulated under the Thai Foreign Business Act, B.E. 2542 (1999), as amended, which states that a foreigner is restricted from engaging in certain businesses in Thailand as described in the Thai Foreign Business Act, such as advertising business, sale of food and beverage, and other service businesses which include e-payment services, unless an approval is granted by the Cabinet of Thailand or a foreign business license or a foreign business certificate is granted by the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, depending on the type of business specified under the Annexes to the Thai Foreign Business Act, or there is an exemption under other specific laws.
 
The term “foreigner” under the Thai Foreign Business Act covers the following definitions:
 

(i)
a natural person who is not a citizen of Thailand;
 

(ii)
a juristic person not established in Thailand;
 

(iii)
a juristic person established in Thailand with half or more of the shares constituting its capital held by (i) or (ii) or half or more of the total capital of such juristic person invested by (i) or (ii); and
 

(iv)
a juristic person established in Thailand with half or more of the shares constituting its capital held by (i), (ii) or (iii), or half or more of the total capital of such juristic person invested by (i), (ii) or (iii).
 
Under the Thai Foreign Business Act, the definition of “foreigner” does not include references to relative voting arrangements, control of the management of a company or the economic interests of Thai and foreign nationals. The Thai Foreign Business Act only considers the immediate level of shareholding. As a result, no cumulative or look-through calculation is applied to determine the foreign status of a company when it has several levels of foreign shareholding. See “—C. Organizational Structure—Thailand Shareholding Structure” for more details about our shareholding structures in Thailand and “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.”
 
Regulations on Foreign Exchange
 
The legal basis for foreign exchange control in Thailand is derived from the Exchange Control Act, B.E. 2485 (1942), as amended, and the Ministerial Regulation No. 13 (B.E. 2497 (1954)).
 
In order to control the volume of foreign currency in Thailand and promote the stability of the Thai baht, foreign exchange regulations in Thailand state that all foreign exchange transactions, including those involving purchases, sales, exchanges and transfers, shall be conducted through commercial banks and through authorized non-banks, namely authorized money changers, money transfer agents, and companies, that are granted foreign exchange licenses from the Minister of Finance of Thailand. There is no limit on the remittance of foreign currency into Thailand; nevertheless, remittance of foreign currency to outside of Thailand is primarily limited to the value of the underlying transaction. Prior approval from the Bank of Thailand may be necessary if the transaction is beyond what is allowed under the regulations. Failure to comply with the laws and regulations will lead to a fine and/or imprisonment. We only remit foreign currency out of our Thailand operations through commercial banks and authorized non-banks with the requisite licenses and obtain separate approval from the Bank of Thailand for such transactions (if required).
 
Regulations on Dividend Distributions
 
Dividend distributions by private companies incorporated in Thailand are governed by the Civil Commercial Code and the Thai Revenue Code. Dividends shall only be distributed out of a company’s retained earnings. A company looking to distribute dividend is required to set aside at least 5% of its retained earnings into a legal reserve fund at the time the dividend is paid until and unless the legal reserve fund reaches 10% of the company’s registered capital.
 
The dividend distributed to a company’s shareholders is subject to a 10% withholding tax. The withholding tax may be exempt or reduced depending on the rules and regulations of the Thai Revenue Code and the double taxation agreements that Thailand has entered into with other countries.
 
Regulations on Game Businesses
 
Digital game and game distributing businesses, either for personal computers or mobile phones, are governed by the Film and Video Act B.E. 2551 (2008), as amended, or the Film and Video Act. Digital games are treated as videos under the Film and Video Act. Digital games to be exhibited, exchanged or distributed in Thailand shall be reviewed and approved by the Thailand Film and Video Censorship Committee. Updates and amendments to previously approved digital games will be regarded as new games and subject to the review and approval by the Film and Video Censorship Committee. Companies engaging in the game distributing business are required to obtain a game distributing license under the Film and Video Act unless the games are offered for free. We have arranged for obtaining the approvals of the games we exhibit and their updated versions from the Film and Video Censorship Committee regularly.
 
Regulations on E-commerce
 
Pursuant to the Commercial Registration Act, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended, or the Commercial Registration Act, and the Notification Regarding Requiring Business Operators to Register their Businesses No. 11, issued by the Ministry of Commerce in 2010, or Notification No. 11, an e-commerce business operators, including the companies engaging in the sale and purchase of goods or services using electronic devices via the internet and e-marketplace, are required to register its business with the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand. We have registered our Shopee e-commerce marketplace business with the Ministry of Commerce.
 
Pursuant to the Direct Sale and Direct Marketing Act B.E. 2545 (2002), as amended, or the Direct Sale and Direct Marketing Act, companies engaging in direct sales or direct marketing are required to register its business with the Secretariat General of the Office of Consumer Protection or the officer appointed by the Secretariat General of the Office of Consumer Protection. We have made the required registration for our Shopee e-commerce marketplace in Thailand. Under the Direct Sale and Direct Marketing Act, companies that operate an online marketplace are direct marketing companies and are required to ensure that documentation evidencing sales and purchases of goods and services on its online marketplace are provided and delivered to consumers. Such documentation shall be in the Thai language and contain information including due date, place and method of payment, place and method of delivery of goods or services, termination of contract, product return method, product warranty and exchange policy in case of damage or defect. Moreover, consumers have the right to cancel their purchases made on an online marketplace within seven days from the date of receipt of the purchased goods or services.
 
In addition, direct marketing companies must comply with the relevant ministerial regulations and any applicable laws on consumer protection regarding their advertisements.
 
Regulations on Consumer Protection
 
Thailand’s consumer protection laws include the Consumer Protection Act B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended, the Unfair Contract Terms Act, B.E. 2540 (1997), the Product Liability Act B.E. 2551 (2008) and the Consumer Case Procedure Act B.E. 2551 (2008). Such laws aim to promote greater transparency and more accurate disclosures regarding products and services, adequate compensation if consumers are harmed by a product or service and fair transaction terms between sellers and buyers.
 
Regulations on E-payment Services
 
In Thailand, electronic transactions and e-payment services are governed by several governmental authorities and regulations including, the Electronic Transaction Commission, or the ETC, the Governor of the Bank of Thailand or his or her designee, the Electronic Transactions Act, B.E. 2544 (2011), as amended, and the Payment Systems Act, B.E. 2560 (2017).
 
Regulated e-payment services businesses include: (i) credit card, debit card, or ATM card services; (ii) electronic money services; (iii) service of receiving electronic payment for and on behalf of sellers, service providers or creditors; (iv) service of transferring money by an electronic means; and (v) other payment services which may affect financial system or public interest.
 
Our digital financial services business in Thailand has obtained e-payment service business licenses for (i) electronic money services, (ii) payment facilitating services, (iii) receiving electronic payments for and on behalf of sellers, service providers or creditors, and (iv) services for transferring money by electronic means.
 
Under the Payment Systems Act, an operator seeking to operate a regulated payment system or regulated payment service, which includes e-payment services, is required to have a license before operating such business. Under the Payment Systems Act, a business operator who has been granted e-payment business licenses under prior regulations must have filed its application for license or the application for registration with the Bank of Thailand before August 13, 2018. Upon filing such applications within the prescribed period, the operator is entitled to operate the businesses indefinitely until the Minister of the Ministry of Finance or the Bank of Thailand instruct otherwise. In this regard, the Bank of Thailand has issued several regulations regulating businesses operating regulated payment systems and services. As an existing license holder, we filed our application within the prescribed period and have obtained the new license under the Payment Systems Act to operate e-payment services.
 
Any non-compliance with the regulations regarding the regulated payment system or the regulated payment services will be subject to penalties, including monetary fines and criminal liabilities (imprisonment), and, depending on the severity of the non-compliance, may result in the suspension or revocation of the relevant licenses obtained under such regulations.
 
In addition, on January 18, 2021, the Bank of Thailand issued the Notification of the Bank of Thailand No. SorNorChor 1/2564 (2021) Regarding the Guideline on Supervision of Information Technology Risk in accordance with the Laws on Payment System requiring the designated payment services providers to arrange appropriate IT governance, IT security controls, and IT risk management. Under the Notification, the provisions regarding cyber hygiene became effective on April 29, 2021 and provisions regarding IT risk management became effective on January 29, 2022.
 
Regulations on Nano Financing
 
The Ministry of Finance promulgated the Notification Regarding Businesses that Require a Permit According to Section 5 of the Notification of the Revolution Council No. 58 (Nano Finance), or the Nano Finance Notification, which requires a nano finance business operator to obtain an approval from the Minister of Finance through the Bank of Thailand. The Nano Finance Notification also stipulates that loan proceeds from nano financing may only be used for business-related purposes in order to boost opportunities to small business owners. Our subsidiary engaging in digital financial services business in Thailand has obtained the nano finance license from the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the Nano Finance Notification.
 
We have approval to operate nano finance business in Thailand, which allows us to provide nano financing to Shopee buyers and sellers in Thailand. Our nano finance business is subject to certain restrictions imposed by the Bank of Thailand, the government authority overseeing nano finance businesses. The Bank of Thailand promulgated the Notification No. SorNorSor 13/2563 (2020) Regarding the Rules, Procedures and Conditions for the Operation of Nano Finance Businesses. Under such notification, operators of nano finance businesses should take into account the borrower’s ability to repay the loan (which is unsecured) and consider a credit limit for each borrower. The maximum credit limit shall not exceed THB100,000 (US$3,000), and the interest rate, together with fees and penalties, shall not exceed 33% per annum. In addition, the nano finance business operator shall maintain a debt-to-equity ratio of seven times or less throughout its operation.
 
Regulations on Personal Loans
 
Personal loan operators are subject to the Notification regarding Businesses that Require a Permit According to Section 5 of the Notification of the Revolution Council No. 58 (Supervised Personal Loan), as amended, and its implementation rules promulgated by the Bank of Thailand, or collectively, the Supervised Personal Loan Notification. According to the Supervised Personal Loan Notification, a company providing uncollateralized personal loans for no specific purpose to individuals is required to obtain a supervised personal loan business license. Our subsidiary engaging in the digital financial services business in Thailand has obtained a supervised personal loan business license from the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the Supervised Personal Loan Notification.
 
According to the Notification of the Bank of Thailand No. SorNorSor 12/2563 (2020), the Bank of Thailand, as the competent authority under the Supervised Personal Loan Notification, requires that the credit limit for personal loans should not exceed one and a half or five times the average monthly income of the borrower or the average monthly balance in the borrower’s deposit account, in the case where the average income is below or over THB30,000 (US$900) a month, respectively, at a financial institution for the six month period immediately before the date on which the personal loan is granted. The Bank of Thailand (Guidelines regarding the provision of financial assistance to the debtors affected by the COVID-19) has temporarily relaxed the loan limit of personal loans for customers until December 31, 2022 by up to two times in cases where the average monthly income of the borrower or the average monthly balance in the borrower’s deposit account is below THB30,000 (US$900) a month. Moreover, the interest rate for personal loans, together with fees and penalties, shall not exceed 25% per annum.
 
Regulations on Digital Lending
 
Any personal loan operators under the Supervised Personal Loan Notification, who use digital technology and alternative data to facilitate provision of loans in regards to the assessment of the ability or willingness to repay the loan, disbursement and repayment, and disclosure of information, are subject to the Notification of the Bank of Thailand No. TorPorTor.ForGorSor.(01)Vor. 977/2563 (2020) Regarding the Rules, Procedures and Conditions for the Undertaking of Digital Personal Loan Business, or the Digital Personal Loan Notification. Pursuant to the Digital Personal Loan Notification, the personal loan operators intending to undertake the digital personal loan business must notify the Bank of Thailand before commencing its business. The maximum credit limit for digital personal loans granted to each borrower shall not exceed THB20,000 (US$600) with the repayment period not exceeding six months, regardless of financial condition, income or balance in the deposit account of the borrower. The Bank of Thailand (Guidelines regarding the provision of financial assistance to the debtors affected by the COVID-19) has temporarily relaxed the loan limit of digital personal loans to borrowers until December 31, 2022 to an amount not exceeding THB40,000 (US$1,200) with the repayment period not exceeding 12 months from the end of the month in which the first drawdown was made.
 
Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights
 
Intellectual property laws in Thailand are comprised of the Copyrights Act, B.E. 2537 (1994), as amended, Trademark Act B.E. 2534 (1991), as amended, Patent Act B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended, Trade Secret Act, B.E. 2545 (2002), as amended, and Optical Disc Production Act, B.E. 2548 (2005).
 
Trademarks registered outside of Thailand are not automatically protected under Thai laws. Protection will be granted to trademarks registered with the Department of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand. In contrast, original works of authorship will receive copyright protection the moment they are created. Computer software will be protected under the Thailand Copyright Act. An infringement of intellectual property rights may lead to civil and/or criminal liabilities.
 
The Copyrights Act, B.E. 2537 (1994), has been amended and was published in the Government Gazette on February 24, 2022, and will become effective on August 23, 2022. This amended Act is to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Copyright Treaty (WCT) and update practices in combating online infringement. Notable changes introduced are (i) an extension of the term of protection for photographic works to be the author’s lifetime plus an additional 50 years after the author’s death; (ii) general and specific requirements for service providers relating to computer data as defined therein to be exempted from liability for copyright infringement; and (iii) Notice-and-Takedown mechanism.
 
Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and Prevention of Terrorism Financing
 
The key regulation for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing is the Money Laundering Prevention and Suppression Act, B.E. 2542 (1999), as amended, which imposes reporting obligations on certain types of business operations for (i) any transactions that reach certain thresholds which vary depending on the type of transactions involved; and (ii) suspicious transactions. Personal loan business operators and e-payment business operators are required to apply the know-your-client measures when the value of transaction(s) is (i) THB500,000 (US$15,002) or more for any single bill payment; (ii) THB50,000 (US$1,500) or more for any e-money or electronic money transfer; or (iii) THB100,000 (US$3,000) or more for other single or cumulative transactions. In addition, personal loan operators and e-payment service business operators need to have procedures relating to customer due diligence in place to ensure that its services are not being used by members of groups identified as terrorists by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
 
Regulations on Labor
 
Labor matters are mainly governed by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code and the Thai Labor Protection Act, B.E. 2541 (1998), as amended, and its subsequent notifications. The laws stipulate relationship between the employer and the employees in essential aspects, including working hours, leaves, wages, employment termination and severance payment, etc. The employment arrangement can be made verbally and is not required in writing.
 
Under the Thai Labor Protection Act, it’s mandatory for employers to establish work rules when 10 or more employees are hired and it shall cover the following issues: (i) working days, normal working hours and rest period; (ii) holidays and rules governing the taking of holidays; (iii) rules governing overtime and holiday work; (iv) the day and place where wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and holiday overtime pay are to be made; (v) leave and rules governing the taking of leave; (vi) discipline and disciplinary measures; (vii) lodging of grievances; and (viii) termination of employment, severance pay and special severance pay.
 
Regulations on Personal Data Protection
 
On May 28, 2019, the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019) became effective, except that Chapter 2 (Personal Data Protection), Chapter 3 (Rights of the Data Subject), Chapter 5 (Complaints), Chapter 6 (Civil Liability) and Chapter 8 (Penalties) of such law, collectively, the Delayed Provisions, took effect from May 27, 2020. Due to a general lack of readiness by both public and private sectors to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act, a majority of businesses will not be subject to the Delayed Provisions until May 31, 2022 pursuant to the Royal Decree on Agencies and Businesses Not Subject to the Personal Data Protection Act, B.E. 2562 (2019) (No. 2), B.E. 2564 (2021). Personal data collected from our conduct of businesses fall within the scope of the Personal Data Protection Act.
 
The Personal Data Protection Act applies to the collection and processing of personal data, including but not limited to the collection, use, disclosure or transfer by a data controller or a data processor. As the law has extraterritorial enforcement, data controllers and data processors both in and outside of Thailand may be subject to this regulation.
 
In addition, data controllers are required to inform data subjects of the purpose of their collection and subsequent processing of the personal data collected, and obtain consents for such collection or processing, unless otherwise provided in the Personal Data Protection Act.
 
Singapore
 
Regulations on Dividend Distributions
 
The governing legislation for the distribution of dividends in Singapore is the Companies Act 1967 of Singapore, or the Companies Act. Under Section 403 of the Companies Act, a Singapore company is only allowed to pay dividends out of profits and there are certain restrictions on the use of profits for the purposes of dividend declaration. Firstly, any profits of a company applied towards the purchase of its shares pursuant to the share buyback provisions under the Companies Act cannot be payable as dividends to the shareholders. However, the foregoing restriction does not apply to any part of the proceeds received by the company from a sale or disposal of its treasury shares where the sums that were utilized to purchase those treasury shares initially came out of profits in the first place. Finally, any gains derived from the sale of treasury shares cannot be payable as dividends to the shareholders of the company.
 
In addition to complying with the Companies Act, the payment of dividends must also be in accordance with the company’s constitution and the generally acceptable accounting principles in Singapore.
 
Regulations on Information Technology
 
Regulation of Internet Content
 
The Broadcasting Act 1994 of Singapore prohibits the provision of certain broadcasting services, including internet content, in or from Singapore without a license issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority. The Infocomm Media Development Authority is the regulator of the information, communications and media sectors in Singapore. The Broadcasting Act 1994 sets out an automatic class licensing scheme for computer online services provided by internet content providers. An internet content provider includes a corporation which provides any program for business purposes on the internet.
 
Internet content providers are in general mandated to be automatically class licensed without any need to make specific applications to the Infocomm Media Development Authority, and are required to comply with the conditions of the class license and the Internet Code of Practice. As an internet content provider, we are obliged to use our best efforts to ensure that prohibited material (which refers to material that is objectionable on the grounds of public interest, public morality, public security, national harmony, offends good taste or decency, or is otherwise prohibited by applicable Singapore laws) is not broadcast via the internet to users in Singapore, and we are also required to deny access to any prohibited material if directed to do so by the Infocomm Media Development Authority. If we contravene the class license conditions or the Internet Code of Practice, we may face administrative sanctions such as suspension or cancelation of our license, or fines.
 
In addition, to the extent that our platforms or services enable our users to transmit online content to each other or access third party online content, we would be an internet intermediary under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019 of Singapore, or POFMA. POFMA empowers any Singapore government minister to direct the POFMA Office to issue certain directions to internet intermediaries whose internet intermediary service had been used to communicate a false statement of fact in Singapore, if the minister is of the opinion that it would be in the public interest to do so. Such directions would include: (a) targeted correction directions, which require the internet intermediary to communicate a correction notice on its service to all end-users in Singapore who accessed the offending false statement of fact after a specified time; and (b) disabling directions, which require the internet intermediary to disable access by end-users in Singapore to the offending false statement of fact being communicated on or through its service. Companies may be fined if they fail to comply with directions issued under POFMA without reasonable excuse.
 
Regulations on Imported Games and Game Operating
 
Video Game Classification
 
Pursuant to the Films Act 1981 of Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority is responsible for classifying films, videos and video games distributed in Singapore. In particular, it administers the video game classification system under the Films Act 1981, which requires businesses importing or distributing physical copies of video games in Singapore to submit the video games to the Infocomm Media Development Authority for rating and classification. However, the video game classification system does not apply to games which are only available via internet download. Since the online games that we offer are available only through online platforms, we in general are not subject to the video game classification system. However, the Infocomm Media Development Authority retains the right to issue a rating and/or classification of any of the online games we offer, should it choose to do so.
 
Films Regulation
 
The Films Act 1981 imposes a regulatory requirement for an organization to hold a license for carrying on the business of importing, making, distributing or exhibiting films. A film is defined to include a video recording for use as a game. The Films (Video Games Exemption) Notification 2008 exempts a video game distributor from having to comply with the abovementioned requirement to obtain a license. There remains some uncertainty with respect to whether the exemption covers an online game operator as the words ‘video games’ are neither defined in the Films Act nor in the aforesaid exemption. This is due to the contents of the Films Act and its related regulations not being drafted specifically for the digital age of online games. Further, due to the latter reason, there is uncertainty on whether an online game needs to be submitted to the Board of Film Censors for censorship evaluation prior to distribution. In the opinion of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, our counsel as to Singapore law, it is consistent with market practice that we treat our online games as video games and do not apply for the film license or submit our online games for censorship evaluation.
 
Gambling Regulation
 
Currently, the Remote Gambling Act 2014 of Singapore prohibits the offering of online games where (i) players play to win money, or (ii) players play to win virtual currency/tokens/credits/items that can be exchanged via in-game facilities for real-world money or merchandise. Online games with chance-based loot boxes do not fall within the ambit of the Remote Gambling Act 2014 if the virtual rewards from such loot boxes cannot be exchanged via in-game facilities for real-world money or merchandise. The Gambling Control Bill, which was passed by the Singapore Parliament on March 11, 2022 and will replace the Remote Gambling Act 2014 once it formally comes into effect, adopts a similar treatment of online games with chance-based loot boxes. Accordingly, as we do not offer any online games which have an in-game facility to convert game credits or tokens or enhancement features (e.g. weapons, skins) to real-world money or merchandise, we do not anticipate that the Singapore laws governing online gambling will apply to our gaming business.
 
Regulations on E-commerce
 
Consumer Protection
 
There are various general consumer protection laws in place in Singapore, which apply generally to all relevant transactions including electronic transactions, but are not specifically targeted at regulating e-commerce operations. One or more of these laws would be relevant in the context of online game operations or e-commerce operations.
 
The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act 2003 of Singapore sets out a legislative framework to allow consumers aggrieved by unfair practices to have recourse to civil remedies before the Singapore courts. The definition of supplier under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act 2003 includes persons who promote the use or purchase of goods or services which we do through our digital entertainment and e-commerce platforms. Suppliers may be held liable for engaging in unfair practices in relation to consumer transactions. Unfair practices include, among other things: (i) doing or saying anything which would reasonably deceive or mislead consumers, (ii) making a false claim, (iii) taking unreasonable advantage of a consumer, or (iv) making various forms of misrepresentations to the consumer.
 
The Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions and Safety Requirements) Act 1975 of Singapore prohibits the use of false trade descriptions on goods supplied in the course of trade. Trade descriptions include any description, statement or indication that directly or indirectly relates to the fitness for purpose, strength, performance, behavior or accuracy of any goods. This prohibition applies to all persons in the course of business and would be applicable in an e-commerce marketplace. Violations of the Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions and Safety Requirements) Act 1975 are subject to criminal liability.
 
While we have, among other things, policies in place which require users of our e-commerce platform not to promote or sell any products which are illegal or prohibited for sale under Singapore law, there remains a residual risk that we may be liable for abetting the sale and distribution of such illegal products in breach of Singapore law if we knew of or had reason to suspect the listing and sale of illegal products on our e-commerce platform but failed to take action to remove such listings.
 
Regulations on E-payment
 
The Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, regulates payment service providers and payment systems in Singapore under the Payment Services Act 2019 of Singapore which came into effect on January 28, 2020. Under the Payment Services Act 2019, a license from the MAS is required for providing any type of payment service in Singapore unless such service is exempted under the law. The payment services regulated under the Payment Services Act 2019 are “account issuance service,” “domestic money transfer service,” “cross-border money transfer service,” “merchant acquisition service,” “e-money issuance service,” “digital payment token service” and “money-changing service.” In particular, “e-money issuance service” means the service of issuing e-money to any person for the purpose of allowing a person to make payment transactions and “account issuance service” includes the service of issuing a payment account to any person in Singapore. Pursuant to the Payment Services (Exemption for Specified Period) Regulations 2019, certain entities who satisfied the relevant criteria and submitted a notification to the MAS within the specified timeframe were exempt from holding a license under the Payment Services Act 2019 for the specific payment service(s) for a specified period. For entities that submitted a notification to the MAS within the specified timeframe, the exemption ceased on July 28, 2020 (for digital payment token services) or January 28, 2021 (for all other newly regulated payment services), unless the entity submitted a license application under the Payment Services Act 2019 to carry on business of providing the relevant payment service(s) before that date, in which case the exemption with respect to those payment service(s) will cease on the date that the application is approved by the MAS, rejected by the MAS, or withdrawn by the entity. Our subsidiary engaging in providing various payment services obtained its major payment institution license in April 2022.
 
A licensee under the Payment Services Act 2019 is required to comply with the requirements under the Act and its subsidiary legislations, as well as all applicable notices and guidelines issued by the MAS (including but not limited to Notice PSN01 Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – Holders of Payment Services Licence (Specified Payment Services) and/or Notice PSN02 Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – Holders of Payment Service Licence (Digital Payment Token Service)). One such requirement imposed upon a licensee under the Payment Services Act 2019 is to provide the MAS with all such information relating to its business of providing any payment service as the MAS may specify by notice in writing. Further, pursuant to Notice PSN01 Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – Holders of Payment Services Licence (Specified Payment Services), unless otherwise exempted, the holder of a license under the Payment Services Act 2019 to provide a specified payment service (i.e. “account issuance service,” “domestic money transfer service,” “cross-border money transfer service” or “money-changing service”) must, amongst various things, perform due diligence measures to establish and verify the identity of each customer; maintain data, documents and information relating to transactions; submit reports on suspicious transactions to the Suspicious Transactions Reporting Office; and implement internal policies, procedures and controls to help prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. A licensee under the Payment Services Act 2019 will also need to comply with the directions and/or regulations issued by the MAS under Section 27A of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act 1970 in relation to dealing with assets of and/or imposing sanctions on designated persons.
 
In addition to the above, the Payment Services (Amendment) Bill was passed in parliament in 2021 but has not come into operation. It will come into operation on a date that the Minister appoints by notification in the Gazette. The Payment Services (Amendment) Bill makes amendments to the Payment Services Act 2019. The amendments include but are not limited to widening the definition of “cross border money transfer service” to include transmission of money between two countries, arranged by a payment service provider in Singapore and widening the definition of “domestic money transfer service” such that the definition applies except where both the payer and payee of a transaction executed under the service are financial institutions.
 
Regulations on Digital Banking
 
Our wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore, or Singapore DFB, has been selected for the award of a digital full bank, or DFB, license in Singapore. The Singapore DFB is required to meet all relevant prudential requirements and licensing pre-conditions imposed on it by the MAS for the grant of the DFB license. These requirements and pre-conditions also subject the Singapore DFB to additional conduct of business, operational, financial and legal requirements. After the Singapore DFB obtains its DFB license and is fully functioning, the Singapore DFB will be allowed to conduct banking business in Singapore, which may include the taking of deposits from, the making of advances to and providing banking services to retail and non-retail customer segments.
 
The MAS will regulate DFBs under the Banking Act 1970 of Singapore and its subsidiary legislation as well as all applicable notices and other instruments issued by the MAS, subject to certain modifications (as set out in the publication “Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Digital Banks” issued by the MAS). Generally, a fully functioning DFB will be able to conduct all banking business as existing qualifying full banks and will be subject to the full range of laws, regulations and prudential rules that apply to such banks. This includes complying with the notices and regulations surrounding ongoing risk-based capital and liquidity requirements, unsecured lending, anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, economic sanctions, corporate governance, risk management, technology risk and the conduct of non-financial businesses. However, it should be noted that DFBs are (i) only allowed to operate one physical “place of business” (being a place where a bank conducts banking business or other regulated businesses), (ii) not allowed to access the automatic teller machine or cash deposit machine network, but will be able to offer cashback services through EFTPOS terminals at retail merchants, and (iii) will be required to comply with same risk based capital requirements applicable to domestic systemically important banks.

A DFB will commence operations as a restricted DFB before becoming a fully functioning DFB. Whilst a DFB will eventually be expected to comply with the minimum paid-up capital requirement set by the MAS of S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) which is applicable to all existing qualifying full banks, prior to it becoming a fully functioning DFB, the minimum paid up capital requirement applicable to a restricted DFB will initially be reduced to S$15,000,000 (US$11.1 million). This minimum paid up capital requirement will progressively increase as the restricted DFB grows. A restricted DFB will also be subject to various restrictions on its business, including but not limited to (i) deposit caps of S$75,000 (US$55,473) per individual depositor and S$50,000,000 (US$37.0 million) in aggregate deposits, (ii) restrictions on who the DFB may take deposits from, (iii) restrictions on unsecured lending, (iv) restrictions on the safeguarding of “relevant money” as defined under the Payment Services Act 2019, and (v) restrictions on the types of investment products the DFB may offer, as well as (vi) restrictions on proprietary trading. These restrictions will progressively be lifted as the DFB grows. The pace of growth of a restricted DFB will depend on its ability to meet its commitments as well as MAS’ supervisory considerations. Once a restricted DFB has met all relevant milestones and has been assessed by the MAS to pose no significant supervisory concerns, the MAS will lift all restrictions and the restricted DFB will become a fully functioning DFB. The MAS generally expects a DFB to be fully functioning and to meet the minimum paid-up capital requirement of S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) within three to five years from commencement of business.
 
Regulations on Data Protection and Information Security
 
Personal Data Protection
 
The Personal Data Protection Act 2012 of Singapore governs the collection, use and disclosure of the personal data of individuals by organizations, and is administered and enforced by the regulator, the Personal Data Protection Commission. It sets out data protection obligations which all organizations are required to comply with in undertaking activities relating to the collection, use or disclosure of personal data. A failure to comply with any of the above can subject an organization to a fine per breach of up to S$1 million (US$739,645) or 10% of the organization’s annual turnover in Singapore, whichever is higher.
 
An online game operator or e-commerce company is required to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act. Among other things, such company is required to obtain consent from its customers and inform them of the applicable purposes before collecting, using or disclosing their personal data. Moreover, it is also required to put in place sufficient measures to protect the personal data in its possession or control from unauthorized access, loss or damage.
 
Pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Commission’s Advisory Guidelines on the Personal Data Protection Act for NRIC and other National Identification Numbers that was issued in August 2018, an organization such as an online game operator or e-commerce company is not permitted to collect, use or disclose an individual’s identification number unless under certain exceptions. The Personal Data Protection Commission has commenced enforcement of these Guidelines from September 2019.
 
In the event of a data breach involving any personal data in an organization’s possession or control, the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 requires the organization to reasonably and expeditiously assess the data breach, and notify the Personal Data Protection Commission of the data breach if it is assessed to be one that: (a) is likely to result in significant harm or impact to the individuals to whom the information relates, or (b) involves personal data of 500 or more individuals. In addition to notifying the Personal Data Protection Commission, organizations are also required to notify the affected individuals if the data breach is one that is likely to result in significant harm or impact to the affected individuals.
 
Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights
 
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore administers the intellectual property legislative framework in Singapore, which includes copyrights, trademarks and patents. Singapore is a member of the main international conventions regulating intellectual property matters, and the WTO’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
 
Copyright
 
Pursuant to the Copyright Act 2021 of Singapore, authors of protected works enjoy various exclusive rights, including the rights of reproduction and communication to the public. Generally, an author will automatically enjoy copyright protection as soon as he creates and expresses an original work in a tangible form. Authors and performers also have a distinct right to be identified whenever their works or performances are used in public unless exceptions apply. For commissioned works, the copyright will be owned by the author by default, unless otherwise agreed by contract. On the other hand, employers by default own the copyright in all content created by their employees in the course of the employees’ employment, unless otherwise agreed by contract.
 
There is no need to file for registration to obtain copyright protection. Copyright works sent over the internet or stored on web servers are treated in the same manner as copyright material in other media. Online games and computer programs would qualify for such copyright protection, for example, as literary works, artistic works and/or cinematograph films.
 
Trademarks
 
Singapore operates a first-to-file system in respect of registered trademarks under the Trade Marks Act 1988 of Singapore, and the registered proprietor is granted a statutory monopoly of the trademark in Singapore in relation to the product or service for which it is registered. In the event of any trademark infringement, the registered proprietor will be able to rely on the registered trademark as proof of his right to the mark, and the infringement of a trademark may give rise to civil and criminal liabilities. Statutory protection of a registered trademark can last indefinitely, as long as the registration is renewed every 10 years.
 
Patents
 
The Patents Act 1994 of Singapore confers protection on patentable inventions on a first-to-file basis in Singapore, provided that the invention satisfies the requirements of novelty, having an inventive step and industrial applicability. Patents are valid for 20 years from the date of filing, subject to the payment of annual renewal fees. During the life of the patent, the owner will have the exclusive right to exploit the invention that is the subject of the patent.
 
Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and Prevention of Terrorism Financing
 
The primary anti-money laundering legislation in Singapore is the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992 of Singapore, or CDSA, provides for the confiscation of benefits derived from, and to combat, corruption, drug dealing and other serious crimes. Generally, the CDSA criminalizes the concealment or transfer of the benefits of criminal conduct as well as the knowing assistance of the concealment, transfer or retention of such benefits.
 
The Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act 2002 of Singapore, or TSOFA, is the primary legislation for the combating of terrorism financing. It was enacted to give effect to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Besides criminalizing the laundering of proceeds derived from drug dealing and other serious crimes and terrorism financing, the CDSA also requires suspicious transaction reports to be lodged with the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office and the TSOFA requires information about any property belonging to any terrorist or terrorist entity to be reported to the Commissioner of Police. If any person fails to lodge the requisite reports under the CDSA and the TSOFA, it may be subject to criminal liability.
 
Regulations on Labor
 
The Employment Act 1968 of Singapore generally extends to all employees regardless of their designation, salary level or type of work performed, with the exception of certain groups of employees. It provides employees falling within its ambit certain protections such as minimum notice periods, maximum working hours, maximum amount of deductions from wages, minimum holidays and rest days, maternity/paternity leave, paid childcare leave, sick leave, etc. The Singapore Employment Act also applies to employees who are foreigners so long as they fall within the definition of “employee” under the Employment Act. In addition, the employment of foreign manpower in Singapore is also governed by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act 1990 of Singapore. Aside from minimum benefits in respect of the aforesaid terms of employment in the Employment Act and CDCSA, employees in Singapore are entitled to contributions to the central provident fund by the employer as prescribed under the Singapore Central Provident Fund Act 1953, or the Singapore Central Provident Fund Act. The specific contribution rate to be made by employers varies depending on whether the employee is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident in the private or public sector and the age group and wage band of the employee. Generally, for employees who are Singapore citizens in the private sector or non-pensionable employees in the public sector, 55 years old or below and that earn more than S$750 (approximately US$555) a month, the employer’s contribution rate is 17% of the employee’s wages.
 
Malaysia
 
Regulations on Foreign Investment
 
There are no overarching foreign investment laws in Malaysia, but there may be restrictions on the direct and/or indirect foreign shareholding in a company depending on the types of licenses or permits that the company may hold to carry out its business activities in Malaysia.
 
Regulations on Dividend Distributions
 
The governing legislation for the distribution of dividends in Malaysia is the Companies Act 2016. Under Section 131 of the Companies Act 2016, a Malaysian company may only distribute dividends out of profits available if the company is solvent. Under the Companies Act 2016, the company is regarded as solvent if it is able to pay its debts as and when they become due within 12 months immediately after the distribution is made. Further, the distribution of dividend must be in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Companies Act 2016 (e.g. where any distribution of dividend must be authorized by the directors of the company before such distribution is made) and the company’s constitution.
 
Regulations on Foreign Exchange
 
Ringgit is the lawful currency of Malaysia. Payments between persons in Malaysia should be in ringgit, unless foreign currency is permitted under the foreign exchange policy, or the FEP. The Central Bank of Malaysia, or BNM, has a policy against the internationalization of ringgit, therefore ringgit exchange rates must be determined onshore in Malaysia, and there are restrictions on the outflow of ringgit under the FEP.
 
Malaysia has FEP restrictions based on provisions in the Financial Services Act 2013, or FSA. Pursuant thereto, a wide range of transactions (these include payments and receipts, exchange of currency) set out in Schedule 14 to the FSA are subject to the prior written approval of BNM. BNM issues FEP Notices setting out its general approval on the terms therein. Where a transaction comprises different aspects which require BNM approval under Schedule 14 to the FSA, BNM approval has to be obtained (either a general approval granted in the FEP Notices or approval applied for on an ad hoc basis) for each such aspect requiring approval, and BNM has discretion whether to grant or not to grant the ad hoc approval subject to conditions.
 
The FEP restrictions principally apply to transactions between “residents” and “non-residents” as defined in the FSA. Foreign investors are generally permitted to invest in ringgit denominated assets and repatriate dividends, profits and other income in foreign currency with certain limited exceptions. Under the FEP, the conversion of ringgit into foreign currency may be freely effected onshore with licensed banks or money-changers with certain limited exceptions.
 
Regulations Relating to Game Business
 
Content moderation
 
Multimedia and communications activities are under the purview of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, a statutory body established under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998.
 
Section 211 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, or CMA provides that no content applications service provider, or other person using a content applications service, shall provide content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person. To the extent an online game falls within the definition of “content” and that the provision thereof through the Internet can be considered as “Internet content applications service,” such provision will apply. Pursuant to the CMA, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code (2nd edition, 2020), or Content Code, was passed to set out the guidelines and procedures for good practice and standards of content disseminated to audiences. This Content Code is enforced by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Forum and it sets out the guidelines and procedures for good practice and standards of content disseminated to audiences over the electronic network medium by service providers in the communications and multimedia industry. Compliance with the Content Code is voluntary but can be relied upon as a defense against any prosecution, action or proceeding of any nature whether in court or otherwise. Under the Content Code, the material disseminated must not include anything which offends good taste or decency, is offensive to public feeling, is likely to encourage crime or lead to disorder, or is abusive or threatening in nature.
 
Regulations on E-commerce
 
The relevant laws governing Malaysia’s e-commerce include, Electronic Commerce Act 2006, or ECA, Digital Signature Act 1997, or DSA, Consumer Protection Act 1999, or CPA, Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012, or CPR 2012, Sale of Goods Act 1957, Contracts Act 1950, and Personal Data Protection Act 2010, or PDPA.
 
Limitations and Liabilities of Platform Operators and E-commerce Merchants
 
There is no specific Malaysian legislative framework setting out the limitations and liabilities of online platform operators and e-commerce merchants. Consumer rights are protected under the CPA, which requires sellers offering goods and services by electronic means to comply with certain standards. The CPA implies warranties as to reasonable care and skill, fitness for a particular purpose, reasonable time of completion and reasonable price, and prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct, the making of false or misleading representations and the imposition of unfair contract terms. Sellers are prohibited from applying false trade description under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011. Specific products such as sale of price-controlled products, drugs, medical devices, food and cosmetic products are subject to additional regulatory requirements.
 
E-commerce merchants are required to provide appropriate means to enable the buyer to rectify any errors prior to the confirmation of the order and shall acknowledge receipt of the order to the buyer without undue delay under CPR 2012. E-commerce merchants are also required to disclose the following information on the website or online marketplace: (i) the name, (ii) registration number of businesses or company, (iii) email address and phone number, (iv) a description of the main characteristics of the goods supplied, (v) full price of the goods, (vi) method of payment, (vii) terms and conditions and (viii) the estimated time of delivery of the goods to the buyer. Online marketplace operators, on the other hand, are required to take reasonable steps to keep and maintain a record of the names, telephone numbers and the address of the person who supplies goods or services in the online marketplace, for a period of two years.
 
With respect to user generated content, or UGC, the concept of innocent carrier embedded in the Content Code provides that any services providers providing access to any content but have neither control over the composition of such content nor any knowledge of such content is deemed an innocent carrier for the purpose of the Content Code. An innocent carrier is generally not responsible for the content provided. UGC platforms must have a clear notice and take-down policy implemented to ensure that potentially infringing UGC can be reported by platform users and that rights holders can request the withdrawal of specific content with ease. Further, UGC platform operators should have a filtering system to remove offensive or defamatory content because there is a presumption that the platform or portal provider must assume responsibility for taking the risk of facilitating a platform.
 
Regulations on Personal Data Protection and Information Security
 
The PDPA regulates the processing of personal data in commercial transactions. The PDPA applies insofar as personal data of customer is processed (for example, name, identification card number, address, phone number, email address). The definition of “personal data” under the PDPA includes any information in respect of commercial transactions, which relates directly or indirectly to a data subject, who is identified or identifiable from that information or from that and other information in the possession of a data user, including any sensitive personal data and expression of opinion about the data subject. The PDPA sets out seven personal data protection principles to be complied with: General Principle, Notice and Choice Principle, Disclosure Principle, Security Principle, Retention Principle, Data Integrity Principle, and Access Principle. Additionally, the Personal Data Protection Regulations 2013 and the Personal Data Protection Standard 2015 set out in detail the requirements to be complied with in respect of the seven principles.
 
Regulations on Electronic Money
 
Electronic money (e-money) is a designated payment instrument under the FSA. It is defined as a payment instrument, whether tangible or intangible that stores funds electronically in exchange of funds paid to the issuer, and can be used as a means of making payment to any person other than the issuer.
 
The approval of BNM under the FSA is required before a person may carry on an issuance of e-money business. An issuer of e-money must comply with obligations in the FSA and subsidiary legislation issued thereunder on approved persons which include, without limitation, maintaining minimum capital funds at all times, complying with applicable standards issued by BNM and submission of information to BNM.
 
The Guidelines on E-money prescribes broad principles (relating to, among others, having adequate governance and operational requirements, proper risk management, transparency of terms, timely refund of stored value, and prevention of the use of e-money for financial crimes) and minimum standards to be observed by an issuer. A large e-money scheme operator must place users’ funds in a trust account with a licensed institution and apply them in the manner prescribed. As a financial services provider, an issuer of e-money may not engage in prohibited business conduct set out in Schedule 7 of the FSA, as supplemented by policy documents of BNM and must maintain secrecy of customer information unless an exemption applies.
 
BNM may revoke its approval of an approved person on the grounds set out in section 20 of the FSA, which include, without limitation, it has provided BNM with false, misleading or incomplete information in its application for approval, it ceases to carry on its approved business, it has breached the FSA, the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009 or any standard or directive under those Acts applicable to it, BNM is of the opinion that it has ceased to be viable, it is in the interests of consumers of financial services to do so or it is wound-up or dissolved.
 
Regulations on Merchant Acquiring Services
 
BNM regulates an operator of a payment system that enters into a contract with a merchant for the purpose of accepting payment instruments for payment of goods and services as conducting merchant acquiring services under the FSA. Each such operator must be registered with BNM and is a registered operator of a payment system. A registered person must comply with standards for registered persons and on its payment system specified by BNM at all times. As a financial services provider, a merchant acquirer may not engage in prohibited business conduct set out in Schedule 7 of the FSA, as supplemented by policy documents of BNM.
 
Regulations on Lending
 
Moneylending is regulated under the Moneylenders Act 1951 in Malaysia (unless any of the limited exceptions apply) principally by the requirement that any person who carries on or advertise itself or hold itself in any way as carrying on the business of moneylending (defined as the lending of money at interest, with or without security to a borrower) must be licensed and the moneylending agreement must be in the prescribed form. The Malaysian Ministry of Housing and Local Government is the regulator administering the provisions of the Moneylenders Act 1951 and have also issued guidelines in connection with the Moneylenders Act 1951 including its Guidelines on Online Moneylending applicable to licensed moneylenders.
 
Compounding of interest is prohibited and the moneylending agreement must be attested by any of the specified persons who must explain the terms thereof to the borrower. Any moneylending agreement entered into by an unlicensed moneylender is unenforceable. A licensed moneylender must apply for an advertisement permit to advertise its moneylending business, and also observe the operational requirements set out in the Moneylenders Act.
 
Regulations on Intellectual Property Rights
 
The intellectual property laws of Malaysia comprise the following main legislation: the Patents Act 1983, Copyright Act 1987, Industrial Designs Act 1996, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000, Trademarks Act 2019, and Geographical Indications Act 2022. The administration and practice of these laws come under the purview of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (“MyIPO”). There are other areas of intellectual property law that may be governed by common law rights including the tort of passing off and the law of confidence. Malaysia is a signatory to the main international conventions regulating intellectual property matters, the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, and has acceded to the Madrid Protocol.
 
Trademark
 
Trademarks in Malaysia are governed by the Trademarks Act 2019, or TMA, and the Trademarks Regulations 2019. Once a trademark is registered, the registered proprietor of trademark has the exclusive rights to use the trademark and authorize other persons to use the trademark, in relation to the goods or services for which the trademark is registered. Upon registration, the registered trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing of the application and is renewable for further periods of 10 years each thereafter. Subject to limited exceptions, no person or enterprise other than the registered proprietor or persons authorized by the registered proprietor may use the trademark, otherwise infringement actions may be taken against such person or enterprise.
 
Copyrights
 
The main governing legislation for copyright law in Malaysia is the Copyright Act 1987. Pursuant to the Copyright Act 1987, authors of protected works enjoy various exclusive rights, including the rights of reproduction in any material form of the works, communication to the public, performance, showing or playing to the public of the works, and distribution of copies to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership. Literary works, musical works and artistic works will be eligible for copyright if sufficient effort has been made to make the works original in character; and the works have been written down, recorded or otherwise reduced to a material form. There is no system for registration of copyright in Malaysia. Copyright is conferred on a work once all the statutory requirements for eligibility and qualification are met. The ownership of copyright in Malaysia can however be recorded formally with the Director General of MyIPO through the Copyright Voluntary Notification System or evidenced by way of a statutory declaration under section 42 of the Copyright Act 1987. Online games and computer programs would qualify for such copyright protection.
 
Patents
 
In Malaysia, the Patents Act 1983, or PA, and the Patents Regulations 1986 govern the protection of an invention that is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. An invention may relate to a product or process, but specifically does not include, amongst others, discoveries, rules or methods for doing business, playing games, etc. Subject to yearly renewal, the period of patent protection (for patent applications filed on or after 1 August 2001) is a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing. The PA grants the owner of a patent the exclusive rights to exploit the patented invention, assign or transmit the patent, conclude licensee contracts, and to deal with the patent as the subject of a security interest. Any person seeking to deal with a patent where the rights are exclusive to the owner will need to get prior consent from the latter. A patent is infringed when, without authorization of the owner, a person performs any of the acts under the exclusive control of the patent owner, including the manufacture, importation, offer for sale, sale, or use of the patented product or process.
 
Regulations on Anti-money Laundering and Prevention of Terrorism Financing
 
Prevention and Eradication of Money Laundering
 
Malaysia is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF. The Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, or AMLA is the statute that imposes obligations on prevention of money-laundering and terrorism financing based on the FATF’s 40 recommendations. BNM is the competent authority under the AMLA.
 
Entities conducting any activity listed in the First Schedule to the AMLA, including amongst others issuer of e-money, are designated as reporting institutions which have specific obligations set out in Part IV of the AMLA to, among others, conduct customer due diligence, maintain records thereof, appoint a compliance officer, conduct audit on its compliance with the AMLA and guidelines issued by BNM and submit suspicious transaction reports to BNM. The requirements for cash threshold reports on certain reporting institutions are applicable to customers and person conducting the transaction in single or multiple cash transactions within the same account in a day for the amount equivalent to RM25,000 (US$5,988) and above. Such reports must be filed within the time prescribed by BNM and are in addition to the obligation to file a suspicious transaction report where applicable.
 
Prevention and Eradication of Terrorism Financing and Proliferation Financing
 
The prevention of terrorism financing in the AMLA is through the obligations in Part VIA thereof to maintain and update a sanctions database based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) list and domestic list by the Minister of Home Affairs, and to screen the names of customers and any beneficial owners, beneficiaries (new, existing and potential) and related parties against the sanctions lists. A person on a sanctions list is referred to as a specified entity. Periodic reporting of positive name matches must be made to BNM.
 
Regulations on Labor
 
The Employment Act 1955, or EA, of Malaysia extends to a limited category of employees as stipulated under the First Schedule of the Act. These categories can be broadly categorized as those earning a monthly salary of RM2,000 (US$479) and below, those whom regardless of their designation or salary are engaged in the performance of manual labor or those whom regardless of salary or designation are engaged in the supervision of those performing manual labor in and throughout their course of employment, employees engaged in the operation or maintenance of any mechanically propelled vehicle operated in Malaysia and employees engaged in any capacity in any vessel registered in Malaysia. The EA provides for the minimum terms and conditions of employment and the National Wages Council Act 2011 and Minimum Wage Orders provide for the minimum salary to be paid to employees. The EA also applies to employees who are foreigners so long as they fall within the definition of “employee” under the Employment Act. Aside from minimum benefits under the EA, both employees and employers in Malaysia are required to contribute towards: the Employees Provident Fund, the Employment Insurance System as well as the Employees Social Security Fund. The contributions are premised on the statutorily prescribed rates under the Employees Provident Fund Act 1969, Employment Insurance System Act 2017 and Employees Social Security Fund Act 1969.
 
C.          Organizational Structure
 
Sea Limited is a holding company that does not have substantive operations. We conduct our business operations through our subsidiaries, branch offices, and consolidated affiliated entities. Our significant subsidiaries, as that term is defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X, include the following entities (in chronological order based on their dates of incorporation):
 

Garena Online Private Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary established in Singapore operating our digital entertainment business;
 

Shopee Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary established in the Cayman Islands holding certain of our e-commerce subsidiaries;
 

Shopee Singapore Private Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary established in Singapore operating our e-commerce business in Singapore; and
 

PT Shopee International Indonesia, our wholly-owned subsidiary established in Indonesia operating our e-commerce business in Indonesia.
 
Contractual Arrangements among Our VIEs, Their Shareholders and Us
 
The laws and regulations in some of our markets place restrictions on foreign investment in and ownership of entities engaged in a number of business activities. To comply with the relevant laws and regulations, we and certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and Singapore have entered into a series of contractual arrangements with certain VIEs and their shareholders who are local citizens. For the year ended December 31, 2021, revenue from all our VIEs (which excludes entities for which we have majority direct equity ownership) accounted for 6.9% of our total revenue. None of our VIEs is individually a significant subsidiary as defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X.
 
The contractual arrangements allow us to:
 

exercise effective control over our VIEs, including the ability to direct the VIE shareholders to vote at our direction and have the ability to replace each of them as a VIE shareholder;


receive substantially all of the economic benefits and absorb losses of our VIEs; and
 

have an exclusive call option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in and/or assets of our VIEs when and to the extent permitted by the relevant laws.
 
As a result of these contractual arrangements, we are the primary beneficiary of these VIEs and have consolidated their financial results in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. However, these contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct ownership and the use of the contractual arrangements in some jurisdictions where we operate exposes us to certain risks. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.”
 
The following is a summary of the currently effective contractual arrangements by and among us, our VIEs and their respective shareholders.
 
Contracts that Give Us Effective Control of the VIEs
 
Loan Agreements
 
In order to ensure that the shareholders of our VIEs are able to provide capital to each of these entities in order to develop its business, we have entered into loan agreements with each shareholder. Pursuant to the loan agreements, we have granted loans to the shareholders that may only be used for the purpose of acquiring equity interests in or contributing to the registered capital of these entities. The time and manner for repayment of the loans are at the sole discretion of our lending entity. The loans may be repaid only by the shareholders transferring all of their equity interests in the VIE to us or our designee upon our exercise of the options under the exclusive option agreements. The loan agreements also prohibit the shareholders from assigning or transferring to any third party, or from creating or causing any security interest to be created on, any part of their equity interests in these entities. In the event that the shareholders sell their equity interests to us or our designee at a price which is equal to or lower than the principal amount of the loan, the loan will be interest-free. If the price is higher than the principal amount of the loans, the excess amount will be deemed to be interest on the loans payable by the shareholders to us.
 
Exclusive Option Agreements
 
In order to ensure that we are able to acquire all of the equity interests in our VIEs at our discretion, we have entered into exclusive option agreements with the respective shareholders of these VIEs. Each option is exercisable by us at any time, provided that doing so is not prohibited by law. The exercise price under each option is the minimum amount required by law and any proceeds obtained by the respective shareholders through the transfer of their equity interests in these entities shall be used for the repayment of the loan provided by us in accordance with the loan agreements. During the terms of the exclusive option agreements, the shareholders will not grant a similar right or transfer any of the equity interests in these entities to any party other than us or our designee, nor will such shareholder pledge, create or permit any security interest or similar encumbrance to be created on any of the equity interests. According to the exclusive option agreements, the VIEs cannot declare any profit distributions or grant loans in any form without our prior consent. The shareholders must remit to us in full any funds such shareholders receive from the VIEs in the event any distributions are made by the VIEs. The exclusive option agreements will remain in effect until the respective shareholder has transferred all of such shareholder’s equity interests in the VIE entity to us or our designee.
 
Powers of Attorney
 
In order to ensure that we are able to make all of the decisions concerning our VIEs, we have entered into powers of attorney with the shareholders of these VIEs. Pursuant to the powers of attorney, each shareholder of our VIEs has irrevocably appointed us as such shareholder’s attorney-in-fact to act for all matters pertaining to such shareholder’s shareholding in the VIE entities and to exercise all of their rights as shareholders, including but not limited to attending shareholders’ meetings and designating and appointing directors, supervisors, the chief executive officer and other senior management members of these entities, and selling, transferring, pledging or disposing the shares of these entities. We may authorize or assign our rights under this appointment to any other person or entity at our sole discretion without prior notice to or prior consent from the shareholders of these entities. Each power of attorney will remain in effect until these shareholder ceases to hold any equity interest in the relevant VIE.
 
Equity Interest Pledge Agreements
 
In order to secure the performance of our VIEs and their shareholders under the contractual arrangements, each of the shareholders of our VIEs have pledged all of their shares to us. These pledges secure the contractual obligations and indebtedness of such VIE shareholders, including all penalties, damages and expenses incurred by us in connection with the contractual arrangements, and all other payments due and payable to us by the relevant VIE under the exclusive business cooperation agreements, and by the VIE shareholders under the loan agreements, exclusive option agreements, and powers of attorney. Should the VIE or the VIE shareholder breach or default under any of the contractual arrangements, we have the right to require the transfer of such VIE shareholders’ pledged equity interests in the relevant VIE to us or our designee, to the extent permitted by laws, or require a sale of the pledged equity interest and have priority in any proceeds from the auction or sale of such pledged interests. Moreover, we have the right to collect any and all dividends in respect of the pledged equity interests during the term of the pledge. Unless the relevant VIEs have fully performed all of their obligations in accordance with the exclusive business cooperation agreements and the pledged equity interests have been fully transferred to us or our designee in accordance with the exclusive option agreements and the loan agreements, the equity interest pledge agreements will continue to remain in effect.
 
Spousal Consent Letters
 
Under the spousal consent letters, each spouse of the married shareholders of our VIEs unconditionally and irrevocably agreed that the equity interest in the relevant entity held by and registered in the name of their spouse will be disposed of pursuant to the contractual arrangements. Each spouse agreed not to assert any rights over the equity interest in these entities held by their spouse. In addition, in the event that the spouses obtain any equity interest in these entities held by their spouse for any reason, they agreed to be bound by the contractual arrangements.
 
All of the contractual arrangements as described above will be terminated once the respective shareholder has transferred all of such shareholder’s equity interests in the VIE entity to us or our designee.
 
Contracts that Enable Us to Receive Economic Benefits or Absorb Losses from the VIEs
 
Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreement
 
In order to ensure that we receive the economic benefits of our VIEs, we have entered into exclusive business cooperation agreements with these entities under which we have the exclusive right to provide or to designate any third party to provide, among other things, technical support, consulting services, intellectual property licenses and other services to these entities, and these entities agree to accept all the services provided by us or our designee. Without our prior written consent, our VIEs are prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging any third party to provide the same or any similar services under these agreements or establishing similar cooperative relationships with any third party regarding the matters contemplated by these agreements. In addition, we have exclusive and proprietary ownership, rights and interests in any and all intellectual properties arising out of or created during the performance of these agreements.
 
Our VIEs agree to pay a monthly fee to us at an amount determined at our sole discretion after taking into account factors including the complexity and difficulty of the services provided, the level of and time consumed by our employees or our designee for providing the services, the content and value of services and licenses provided and the market price of the same type of services or licenses. These agreements will remain effective unless terminated in accordance with their provisions or terminated in writing by us. Unless otherwise required by applicable laws, these entities do not have any right to terminate these agreements in any event. We have the right to terminate the exclusive business cooperation agreements and/or require these entities to indemnify all damages in the event of any material breach of any term of these agreements by them. These entities agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any losses, injuries, obligations or expenses caused by any lawsuits, claims or other demands against us arising from or caused by the services that we provide to these entities pursuant to the exclusive business cooperation agreements, except where such losses, injuries, obligations or expenses arise from our own gross negligence or willful misconduct.
 
Financial Support Confirmation Letters
 
In order to ensure that our VIEs have sufficient cash flow to fund their daily operations and/or to set off any losses incurred in such operations, we have entered into financial support confirmation letters with each of these entities. Under the financial support confirmation letters, we pledge to provide continuous financial support to these entities by ourselves or through our designees and agreed to forego our right to seek repayment in the event these entities are unable to repay such financial support or we become liable for the liabilities of these entities. These entities agree to accept such financial support and pledge to only use such support to develop their respective businesses. To the extent permitted by law, the financial support we provide to these entities may take the form of loans, borrowings or guarantees.
 
Based on opinions from our external legal counsels, we believe the ownership structure of our VIEs are generally in compliance with the local laws or regulations that are currently in effect, and each of the agreements among us, our VIEs and/or the local shareholders is valid, binding and enforceable, and do not and will not result in any violation of such laws or regulations that are currently in effect.
 
However, uncertainties in the relevant legal system could cause the relevant regulatory authorities to find the current contractual arrangements and businesses to be in violation of any existing or future relevant laws or regulations. In addition, if the VIEs or the shareholders of the VIEs fail to perform their obligations under the contractual arrangements, we may have to incur substantial costs and expend resources to enforce our rights as the primary beneficiary under the contracts. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.”
 
Thailand Shareholding Structure
 
Each of our operating entities in Thailand is established using a tiered structure that maximizes our equity interests in the entity while also complying with the Thai law requirement that each Thai company has at least three shareholders and, without approval from Thai authorities, direct foreign ownership of share capital of each entity operating the restricted business under the Thai Foreign Business Act is limited to less than 50%. As Thai laws only consider the immediate level of shareholding, no cumulative or look-through calculation is applied to determine the foreign ownership status of a company when it has several levels of foreign shareholding. Under this shareholding structure, our Thai operating entities are each owned by (i) a Thai entity, or Thai Holdco 1, holding slightly more than half of the shares, (ii) one of our employees holding one share, and (iii) one of our Cayman Islands or Singapore subsidiaries holding slightly less than half of the shares. Thai Holdco 1 is then owned by (i) another Thai entity, or Thai Holdco 2, (ii) the employee who holds one share in the Thai operating entity, and (iii) our Cayman Islands or Singapore subsidiary in the same shareholding proportions that our Thai operating entities are held. Thai Holdco 2 is in turn held by (i) one of our employees, who is a Thai citizen, holding preference shares equivalent to slightly more than half of the total number of shares, (ii) the employee who holds one share in the Thai operating entity, holding one share, and (iii) our Cayman Islands or Singapore subsidiary holding ordinary shares equivalent to slightly less than half of the total number of shares. The preference shares have limited voting rights and the right to receive a fixed, non-cumulative dividend of an immaterial amount in the event a dividend is declared. This structure allows us to effectively control nearly 100% of our Thai operating entities.
 
In the opinion of Kudun and Partners Company Limited, our counsel as to Thai law, the shareholding structure of our Thai operating entities is in compliance with applicable Thai law. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Other Operational Risks—We rely on structural arrangements to establish control over certain entities and government authorities may determine that these arrangements do not comply with existing laws and regulations. We are also subject to other risks relating to such structural arrangements.”
 
D.          Property, Plants and Equipment
 
Our headquarters and our principal technical development facilities are located in Singapore, where we have leased approximately 54,400 square meters of office space, as of December 31, 2021. We also have local offices in other parts of Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. In Indonesia, we have rights to build (Hak Guna Bangunan) on land of approximately 124,000 square meters, among which we are in the process of building a warehouse expected to have a construction floor area of approximately 77,000 square meters. We also have transportation assets used for Shopee logistics services as well as general administrative and operational purposes.
 
The servers we currently use are hosted in leased data centers in different areas across our markets, as well as on cloud services. The data centers in our network are owned and maintained for us by major domestic and international data center providers. We generally enter into leasing and hosting service agreements with renewal terms. We believe that our existing facilities are sufficient for our current needs and we may need to obtain, usually by lease, adequate facilities to accommodate any future expansion plans.
 
ITEM 4A.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.
 
ITEM 5.
OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
 
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this annual report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results and the timing of selected events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report.
 
A.          Operating Results
 
Overview
 
Sea operates three key businesses—Garena, Shopee, and SeaMoney. Each of our businesses provides a distinct and compelling value proposition to our users, and we believe each exhibits strong virtuous cycle dynamics. We believe these distinct characteristics support our leadership position and provide a strong foundation for continued growth while creating barriers to entry for our competitors. We develop, curate and localize the content and services on our platforms to serve a highly diverse population across multiple markets and regulatory regimes.
 
We have achieved significant scale and growth since our founding. Our total revenue increased from US$2.2 billion in 2019 to US$10.0 billion in 2021, a CAGR of 113.9%. We had gross profit of US$604.9 million, US$1.3 billion and US$3.9 billion in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. We incurred net losses of US$1.5 billion, US$1.6 billion and US$2.0 billion in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, primarily due to our investments in expanding our businesses, in particular our e-commerce and digital financial services businesses.
 
Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations
 
Our results of operations and financial condition are affected by general factors driving the digital entertainment, e-commerce, digital financial services and other industries in our markets, including demographic and macro-economic growth, technology adoption trends, and the digital transformation of industries.
 
Our results of operations are also directly affected by certain factors specific to us, including the following:
 
Size of Our User Base
 
Our revenue is largely driven by the number of users and the level of user engagement across our three businesses. In our digital entertainment business, due to our freemium business model, the higher the number of active users in our games, the larger the number of users likely to make in-game purchases. Likewise, in our e-commerce business, the larger the number of sellers and buyers on the platform, the larger the number and value of transactions which over time will drive advertising and transaction-based fee revenue for us. In our mobile wallet business, the larger the number of mobile wallet active users and the larger the number of merchants accepting SeaMoney’s payment options, the greater the potential transaction volumes that drive our commission revenue.
 
User Engagement and Monetization
 
As our level of user engagement increases, the potential for user spending and consequently our revenue also increases. A critical component of maximizing the monetization potential of each of our businesses is providing high-quality content and services and pricing our content and services correctly. Monetization is also dependent upon our ability to convert active users into paying users, and then increase revenue per paying user. For example:
 

In our digital entertainment business, our primary source of revenue is the sale of in-game items. We focus on developing and curating the best content and localizing that content to cater to the tastes and preferences of each of our unique markets. We maximize the in-game user experience to keep our users highly engaged and increase the likelihood of in-game spending so as to maximize revenue. To do so, we provide a high-quality entertainment experience, adopt effective pricing strategies for each market and game, and leverage our platform’s cross-selling tools to support long-term user engagement with our games.
 

In our e-commerce business, we closely monitor the number of transactions per active buyer. We optimize the assortment of our product categories on our marketplace and build convenient tools to attract sellers. We monetize our e-commerce business mainly by offering sellers paid advertising services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics. As our e-commerce marketplace grows, we may consider other monetization methods in order to capture additional revenue streams. We also purchase products from manufacturers and third parties and sell them directly to buyers on our Shopee platform.
 

In our digital financial services business, we mainly monetize by charging commissions to third-party merchants with respect to our mobile wallet services, by charging fees to third-party financial institutions which offer financial products or lend to consumers on our platform, and by earning interest from borrowers with respect to our consumer and merchant credit business. We continually expand the number of use cases that accept our mobile wallet services to create greater convenience for our users. We believe that increasing the variety of use cases, together with our efforts to increase our mobile wallet user numbers and engagement, will lead to increases in the number of transactions through our mobile wallet business, and in turn the gross transaction value and commission income.
 
COVID-19 has affected and may continue to affect our businesses and our users’ behaviors. With many economies reopening further in the fourth quarter of 2021 and into 2022, we have observed some moderation in online activities and fluctuations in user engagement. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on our users and ecosystem participants remain uncertain. Relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions may decrease the inclination of users to remain at home, make physical stores or activities more attractive, and alter the usage and spending habits of our users. Accordingly, the trends we saw with respect to our revenues and other financial results and operating metrics during COVID-19 impacted periods may not be indicative of results for future periods. In future periods, we may not be able to sustain revenue growth consistent with recent history, or at all. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—The COVID-19 pandemic, including any lockdown and reopening of relevant markets, has affected our business activities and results. Any future occurrence of natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks, or other catastrophic events could also adversely affect our business” for more details. As the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, our business, financial condition and results of operations may continue to be affected in the short- or long-term future.
 
Benefits of Our Platforms
 
Our platforms benefit from internal dynamics that allow us to increase our scale and user engagement quickly and in a cost-effective manner. Our businesses enjoy network effects, virtuous cycles and synergies across our platforms.
 
We benefit from the network effects resulting from the significant social aspects of our digital entertainment and e-commerce platforms. For example, because game players find it highly beneficial to join a platform with a large number of other game players, each new player that joins creates value for the existing community. This encourages current users to invite new users to our platform, which allows us to grow our user base with moderate acquisition cost and increases the likelihood that users will remain active and engaged and therefore spend on our platform.
 
Each of our three businesses is a multi-sided platform which benefits from virtuous cycle dynamics. Thus, as our platforms grow, they become more valuable to each of our users and this increases their potential spending opportunities. For example, as the number of buyers on our Shopee platform increases, Shopee attracts an increasing number of sellers, resulting in increases in the volume and variety of products available on the platform, which increases the purchasing opportunities for each of those buyers. This results in greater monetization potential as the size of each platform grows.
 
Finally, synergies among our digital financial services business and each of our digital entertainment and e-commerce businesses allow us to increase our user base and monetization quickly and cost-effectively. For example, as our Garena game players and Shopee buyers increasingly complete transactions using our mobile wallet services, our mobile wallet user base grows, which in turn attracts more merchants to join the mobile wallet network. As more third-party merchants join SeaMoney’s network, our users become increasingly engaged with our platforms. At the same time, these users may also increasingly explore other services and product offerings available on our digital financial services platform.
 
Optimization of Our Cost and Expense Structure
 
Our cost and expense structure has several broad components: payment channel costs, royalties, amortized license fees and hosting costs for our digital entertainment business; sales and marketing expenses, consisting primarily of customer acquisition and retention expenses for all our business segments; costs of logistics, including expenses for warehousing, for our e-commerce business; funding costs as well as credit and default costs, for our consumer and merchant credit business; employee compensation and welfare costs and expenses, which are spread among different functions; research and development expenses; and other costs and expenses across our businesses that are mainly fixed in nature. By offering our own mobile wallet and payment processing services, we strive to effectively reduce our payment channel costs and capture value that may otherwise go to third-party payment service providers. Our scale in our digital entertainment business has enabled us to optimize our variable costs, as has our operating scale for e-commerce and digital financial services.
 
We have made a strategic decision to invest in the growth of our Shopee marketplace by incurring sales and marketing expenses in advance of our monetization efforts. In addition, we are also investing in user acquisition in our SeaMoney business. We believe that taking a thoughtful approach to monetization by building our user base and increasing engagement first will allow us to maximize our monetization in the future.
 
Foreign Exchange Rates
 
Our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar and changes in currency exchange rates may materially affect our reported results and consolidated trends. We earn revenue denominated in local currencies of Southeast Asia and Taiwan and Brazil, among other currencies, while some of our costs and expenses are paid in other foreign currencies. We do not rely on any single currency as we earn revenue in different local currencies across our markets and keep a significant cash position in U.S. dollars.
 
Our expenses may become higher and our revenue and operating metrics may become lower than would be the case if exchange rates were stable or if we were operating and reporting in one currency. For example, if the U.S. dollar weakens relative to currencies in our local markets, our revenue, operating expenses and GMV will be higher than if currencies had remained constant. Likewise, if the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to currencies in our local markets, our revenue, operating expenses and GMV will be lower than if currencies had remained constant. Movements in foreign currency exchange rates may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, which may cause our financial and operational metrics reported in the U.S. dollar to be not fully representative of the underlying business performance. We believe that our diversification in geographic coverage benefits our shareholders over the long-term. We may also enter into foreign currency derivative transactions to hedge potential foreign exchange risks. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Business and Operational Related Risks—Risks Applicable Across Multiple Businesses—Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may adversely affect our operational and financial results, which we report in U.S. dollars.”
 
Description of Certain Statement of Operations Items
 
Revenue
 
We currently generate revenue primarily from our digital entertainment business and e-commerce business. The table below sets forth our revenue breakdown.
 
   
For the Year Ended December 31,
 
   
2019
   
2020
   
2021
 
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
 
   
(thousands, except for percentages)
 
Service revenue
                                   
Digital Entertainment
   
1,136,017
     
52.2
     
2,015,972
     
46.1
     
4,320,013
     
43.4
 
E-commerce and other services
   
822,659
     
37.8
     
1,777,330
     
40.6
     
4,564,617
     
45.8
 
Sales of goods
   
216,702
     
10.0
     
582,362
     
13.3
     
1,070,560
     
10.8
 
Total revenue
   
2,175,378
     
100.0
     
4,375,664
     
100.0
     
9,955,190
     
100.0
 

The table below sets forth the revenue from external customers based on the geographical locations where the services were provided or goods were sold, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of total revenue for the periods indicated.
 
   
For the Year Ended December 31,
 
   
2019
   
2020
   
2021
 
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
 
   
(thousands, except for percentages)
 
Southeast Asia
   
1,378,141
     
63.4
     
2,791,894
     
63.8
     
6,316,782
     
63.5
 
Rest of Asia
   
489,291
     
22.5
     
655,007
     
15.0
     
1,394,342
     
14.0
 
Latin America
   
282,618
     
13.0
     
790,308
     
18.1
     
1,850,861
     
18.6
 
Rest of the world
   
25,328
     
1.1
     
138,455
     
3.1
     
393,205
     
3.9
 
Total revenue
   
2,175,378
     
100.0
     
4,375,664
     
100.0
     
9,955,190
     
100.0
 

Digital Entertainment
 
We generate revenue from our digital entertainment business primarily by selling in-game items to our game players. We recognize revenue ratably over the estimated service period. Our revenue generated from digital entertainment accounted for 52.2%, 46.1% and 43.4% of our total revenue in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
 
The primary driver for revenue in our digital entertainment business is the size of our active user base and the level of user engagement. Due to the freemium business model of our immersive games, the higher the number of active users on our games, the greater the likelihood of such users to make in-game purchases. Therefore, we believe Game QAU is a key metric to help us understand both the active user base and user engagement on our games. For example, our Game QAUs increased from 354.7 million to 610.6 million and 654.0 million from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2021, respectively, which led to an increase in the number of paying users, which in turn contributed to our revenue growth during those periods. User base growth and engagement in 2021 were primarily driven by the launch of new games, the expansion of existing games into new markets, and the improvement and launch of new content in our existing games. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Our Businesses—Garena Digital Entertainment Business—Game Players.”
 
E-commerce and Other Services
 
E-commerce and other services revenue consist of revenue generated from our e-commerce marketplace services, digital financial services, and other services on our platforms. Revenue from products owned and sold by us on our Shopee platform was recorded under sales of goods revenue as discussed below. Our e-commerce and other services revenue constituted 37.8%, 40.6% and 45.8% of our total revenue during 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
 
We monetize Shopee’s marketplace model mainly by offering sellers paid advertisement services, charging transaction-based fees, and charging for certain value-added services, including logistics. We may also roll out other means of generating revenue to broaden our monetization avenues in the future.
 
We generate revenue from our digital financial services business primarily from interest and fees from loans granted to commercial and consumer customers, and commissions charged to third-party merchants. We generally recognize our interest and fees, and commission from the transactions as revenue. Typically the commission charged is either a fixed rate or a certain percentage of the transaction value flowing through the platform.
 
Sales of Goods
 
Sales of goods revenue mainly comes from our e-commerce business. While we primarily operate as a marketplace, we also purchase products from manufacturers or third parties directly and sell on our Shopee platform under our official store to meet buyers' demand for such products. Bulk purchasing and direct product sales for specific product categories also enable us to offer better product assortment and more competitive prices to our buyers.
 
Cost of Revenue
 
Our cost of revenue primarily consists of direct expenses in generating revenue from our businesses.
 
Digital Entertainment
 
For our cost of revenue for digital entertainment, the largest portion relates to channel cost which is generally paid as a percentage of gross billings, and recognized as expenses over the performance obligation period, and a significant portion also relates to royalties, which are generally paid as a percentage of gross billings from our licensed games, and other fees relating to our use of various third-party intellectual properties. Other costs include server and hosting costs, upfront licensing fees, which are fixed and amortized over the shorter of estimated useful life or game licensing period, staff compensation and welfare costs, which include the share-based compensation, and other miscellaneous costs.
 
E-commerce and Other Services
 
Our cost of revenue for e-commerce services primarily consists of expenses associated with our logistics and other value-added services, bank transaction fees for transactions conducted through our Shopee platform, server and hosting costs, staff compensation and welfare costs, which include share-based compensation, and other miscellaneous costs.
 
Our cost of revenue for digital financial services primarily consists of server and hosting costs, interest expenses for deposits payable, bank transaction fees for transactions conducted through our SeaMoney platform, commissions we pay to counter operators, staff compensation and welfare costs, which include share-based compensation, and other miscellaneous costs.
 
Sales of Goods
 
Our cost of revenue for sales of goods is mainly attributable to the goods we purchase from manufacturers and third parties and sell directly to buyers on our Shopee platform.
 
Operating Income and Expenses
 
Our operating expenses consist of sales and marketing expenses, general and administrative expenses and research and development expenses, net of other operating income. The table below sets forth our operating expenses, both in absolute amount and as a percentage of total revenue, for the periods indicated.
 
   
For the Year Ended December 31,
 
   
2019
   
2020
   
2021
 
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
   
US$
   
Percentage
of Total
Revenue
 
   
(thousands, except for percentages)
 
Other operating income
   
(15,890
)
   
(0.7
)
   
(189,645
)
   
(4.3
)
   
(287,946
)
   
(2.9
)
Sales and marketing expenses
   
969,543
     
44.6
     
1,830,875
     
41.8
     
3,829,743
     
38.5
 
General and administrative expenses
   
385,865
     
17.7
     
657,215
     
15.0
     
1,105,295
     
11.1
 
Research and development expenses
   
156,634
     
7.2
     
353,785
     
8.1
     
831,703
     
8.4
 
Total operating expenses
   
1,496,152
     
68.8
     
2,652,230