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  • Kyle Chua

TikTok Leaving India for Good, Laying Off Remaining Staff in the Country

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

TikTok is terminating its operations in India, laying off its remaining staff, amid mounting scrutiny of Chinese tech companies by local regulators.

Credit: Reuters

The short-form video giant has already informed the over 40 workers in the country that 28 February would be their last day in the company, as local newspaper The Economic Times reports. The workers, who provided remote support to markets outside India like Brazil and Dubai, would receive a severance pay of nine months.


"We have taken the decision to close our India remote sales support hub, which was put in place at the end of 2020 to provide support to our global and regional sales teams," said a TikTok representative. "We greatly appreciate these employees and their impact on our company, and will ensure they are supported at this difficult time."


TikTok reportedly gave the workers feelers that it wouldn't be able to restart operations in India “because of the government’s stance on Chinese apps” prior to dismissing them. The popular app was banned by the Indian government in June 2020 over national security concerns. The ban came on the heels of a military clash between Indian and Chinese forces along the disputed border between the two countries, resulting in deaths. Over 250 Chinese apps have since been banned by Indian regulators, including e-commerce juggernaut AliExpress, mobile game PUBG Mobile and fast-fashion online retailer Shein.

Credit: Zuma Press

Before the ban, India was TikTok's largest market in terms of downloads, accounting for about 18% of its global total in June 2020. In comparison, the U.S. only accounts about 8.7%, according to Sensor Tower's data.


TikTok is similarly facing the threat of a ban in the U.S. over the app's ties to China. The company, which is owned by the Beijing-based tech unicorn ByteDance, maintains that it doesn't take orders from China. It has even spent more than a billion dollars on an initiative that would have it rebuild its app and its servers to store U.S. user data domestically, which would supposedly prevent them from being accessed by the Chinese government. So far, however, the company's detractors aren't being swayed, with U.S. lawmakers last week reintroducing a legislation that would ban the app in the country.

 
  • TikTok is terminating its operations in India, laying off its remaining staff, amid mounting scrutiny of Chinese tech companies by local regulators.

  • The short-form video giant has already informed the over 40 workers in the country that 28 February would be their last day in the company.

  • It reportedly gave the workers feelers that it wouldn't be able to restart operations in India “because of the government’s stance on Chinese apps” prior to dismissing them.

  • TikTok was banned by the Indian government in June 2020 over national security concerns.



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