Saturday, 2023 September 30

Daily Digest | Shein, Sheout

Hey. It’s Brady, here to round out your week.

Last year, a few weeks into the pandemic, when it was still being called an epidemic, the tech press blew trumpets for all things digital. Every day, our inboxes were inundated with press releases and quote offers that painted startups of every stripe as essential, as part of the solution. At the same time, investors rejoiced.

Companies that operate in e-commerce and rapid delivery did this the most often. There’s some merit to their claim—when entire cities and nations lock themselves at home, there needs to be a way to move food, necessities, and leisure pursuits to people.

That doesn’t mean the same story is valid for every company. Khamila, my colleague in Jakarta, spotted that Shein terminated its operations in Indonesia at the end of July. The development was surprising, given the company’s formidable success around the world.

The optimism around the pandemic, a gruesomely deadly event, as a catalyst for digital change feels wrong. As it turns out, it hardly guarantees smooth sailing—even for globally established names.

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