Empty cart?: Shopee receives backlash after tapping Toni Gonzaga as endorser

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — Online selling site Shopee trended on social media on Thursday after netizens expressed distress over the company taking actress and singer Toni Gonzaga as its new endorser.

Around 200,000 tweets were related to Shopee by 1 p.m. while at least 30,000 tweets were connected to competing e-commerce site Lazada.

Hashtags #BoycottShopee and #ByeShopee also trended while several social media users expressed their disappointment in the company, some even resorting to deleting the application from their phones.

Netizens criticized Shopee after a report saying that the company conducted a mass employee layoff right before revealing Gonzaga as a new brand ambassador.

Many online sellers also have expressed their intention to pull out of the online selling site.

Shopee’s new ambassador, meanwhile, thanked the online audience for the high engagement on her launch.

"Since yesterday we are trending, today we are grateful for our netizens for the mentions and engagements, they are the reasons why we are here today," Gonzaga said at a media event where she was officially announced as an endorser.

Shopee has yet to release an official statement on the reported mass layoff of its employees.