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HomeIndia“Reducing India workforce, unsure of return”- TikTok parent ByteDance

“Reducing India workforce, unsure of return”- TikTok parent ByteDance

Following reports of the government permanently banning 59 Chinese apps in India after the long-held tiff with China, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, said it has decided to downsize the firm by removing staff members from its India team, citing that there are uncertainties surrounding the company’s comeback in India.

Through an internal memo sent on Wednesday to all the workers functioning in India, the company said it cannot let this continue even when they have no business running in the country.

“We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived… we find that has not been the case,” ByteDance wrote in the memo to employees.

The notice read by Reuters also mentioned, “We simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while our apps remain un-operational… we don’t know when we will make a comeback in India.”

When the company was first banned, it had released a statement saying, “We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority.”

There were fears that the fresh ban could pull the hundreds of hires of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, out of their jobs if the company proceeds to fire all. However, NDTV had reported that the India team was retained and shifted to cater to the global market, though it was unclear as to when this will continue now that the new announcements have raised tensions.

The list of applications that include popular video-sharing app, TikTok, WeChat, Shein, CleanMaster, UC Browser, and others, were suspended in June 2020 after the government raised questions. As such, the department issued notices last week stating, “The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now.”

Earlier in June when the ban was first placed, the Ministry had said that the suspension is crucial as the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order”.

After suspending the apps, the government sought explanations from the app owners regarding the user data getting collected and its compliance with the security regulations involving privacy and security. However, seems like the Centre did not get convinced with the reply following which the notice was issued.

Although this has eradicated any chance for the 59 apps to make a comeback in India, it doesn’t bring enough light on the fate of the other 118 apps that were banned in September 2020.

This includes PUBG, the popular gaming app, that became a part of the 118 apps suspended later. The company, however, launched an Indian version called PUBG Mobile India in November 2020, with the entire employee base consisting of Indians.

The game did not find luck here as the Ministry said it hadn’t provided any permission for the relaunch of the app.