ByteDance says cutting India workforce, unsure of comeback

Photo: Kon Karampelas /Unsplash

China’s ByteDance is cutting the size of its India team and is unsure when it will make a comeback, the company told employees in an internal memo on Wednesday, months after its popular TikTok video app was banned.

The move came after India decided to retain its ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps following responses from the companies on issues such as compliance and privacy.

The ban dates from last year when political tension between the neighbours rose over their disputed border.

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

“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”

In a statement, Tiktok said it was disappointing that despite its efforts it had not received a clear direction on how and when its apps could be re-instated.

“It is deeply regretful that after supporting our 2,000-plus employees in India for more than half a year, we have no choice but to scale back the size of our workforce,” it said, but gave no further specifics.

At the time of last year’s ban, the Indian government described the apps as “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India”. The move followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site that killed 20 Indian troops.

TikTok had committed to spend $1 billion in the region. Before the ban it had become one of the fastest-growing social media apps in India, once its largest market in terms of users.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.