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ByteDance To Cut Workforce In India As Firm Unsure Of Fate Of Ban On Its Apps

ByteDance To Cut Workforce In India As Firm Unsure Of Fate Of Ban On Its Apps
The Indian government had banned the Chinese owned TikTok in the country in June last year.  The short video sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance is not reducing its staff size in the country as the company is apparently unsure about whether the government will revoke the ban on the app in the near future. The company has staff strength of more than 2,000 in India.
Earlier this month, the Indian government decided to continue with the ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps after the companies filed responses on issues such as compliance and privacy which reportedly prompted this latest move by TikTok.
The ban on TikTok last year was imposed following military tensions between the two countries at the Himalayan borders of India and China over a border dispute.
“We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived...we find that has not been the case,” ByteDance wrote in an internal memo which was reported to have been seen by the news agency 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”, the memo reportedly said.
The company was disappointed that it had not been given any clear direction on how and when its apps could be reinstated despite all efforts made by it, the company said in a statement.
In the memo, the company however did not detail the number of employees it would be sacking.
India was one of the largest markets for TikTok prior to the ban being imposed on it and plans of investing about $1 billion in the Indian market was made by ByteDance in 2019.
The apps against which the ban was imposed were described by ay the time of last year’s ban by the Indian government as being prejudicial to the “sovereignty and integrity of India”. The ban came after a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site that killed 20 Indian soldiers.
The United States under the administration of the former president Donald Trump had ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok over allegations that it was a threat to the country’s national security. The Trump administration also attempted to impose a ban on the app which would effectively have prevented the use of the app in the country.   
The short video messaging app has also come under fire in Australia over concerns that it may pose risks to its users from around potential foreign interference and data privacy issues.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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