26/01/2021 11:25 AM

By Anas Abu Hassan

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26  -- Shopee recorded a surge in demand for home-based learning and work-from-home technology gadgets from Jan 11-15, which coincided with the reintroduction of the Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0), with more than 550,000 units sold.

Regional managing director Ian Ho said the e-commerce platform noticed that the sales of items such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, network components, keyboards, printers, and audio systems grew four and a half times during the five-day period compared to the same period during the first MCO last year. 

"Since the online learning session started in mid-year 2020, we noticed that consumer tech gadgets that were suited for home-based learning or work from home were flying off the virtual shelves. The demand for PCs and gadgets for e-learning grew dramatically.

"During the 12.12 Big Sale on Dec 12, 2020, we noted that eight out of the top 10 performing Malaysian SMEs (small and medium enterprises) were electronics retailers who clocked in an average sales of over RM800,000 each," he told Bernama on Tuesday. 

Ian said parents with more than one child in school for e-learning sessions can look out for bundle deals or add-on deals by brands and retailers on their platform to enjoy more savings.

"There are also credible resellers on our platform who are selling used and refurbished laptops for prices from RM325, if parents need more than one laptop for their children and have limited resources," he added.

Meanwhile, National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) chairman Danny Lee said the organisation saw the demand for tech gadgets increased overtime as the need for such device usage at home was on the rise since the work-from-home and online learning sessions have begun.

"The government may want to consider offering other forms of incentives to encourage higher use and purchase of tech products, such as waiver of Sales and Service Tax, free internet, subsidy or even do a programme of 1 laptop 1 family," he said. 

He said there are some brands in the market that offer discounts on laptops and desktops, especially during this period as the new school year begins. 

"At the same time, telcos are also offering great promotions in internet packages for the past few months, and they will continue to do so. The free 1GB data offering is also extended," he added.

In the meantime, YTL Foundation announced it has distributed over 400,000 sim cards and 100,000 mobile phones nationwide throughout its recently launched 'Learn From Home' initiative. 

Programme director Datin Kathleen Chew said the Learn From Home initiative offers 1,272 curriculum-aligned lessons developed by FrogAsia in partnership with content providers.

"Students, who use the Learn From Home platform, can also access more than 13,500 revision quizzes covering the same learning content, through the FrogPlay mobile gamified app," she said. 




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