Chinese internet giant ByteDance has told employees in India that it will be reducing the size of its team in the country after New Delhi retained ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps last week, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The company shared the news with employees in the country at 10am local time and said only critical jobs will be retained in the country. ByteDance said it was left with no choice because the Indian government, which banned its marquee app late June last year, had offered no clear direction on when TikTok could make return in the nation, the source said on the condition of anonymity.
“It is deeply regretful that after supporting our 2000+ employees in India for more than half a year, we have no choice but to scale back the size of our workforce. We look forward to receiving the opportunity to relaunch TikTok and support the hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers in India,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Today’s move caps some of the strangest and confusing months for ByteDance employees in India. Following the ban, the employees were told to focus on developing a range of other apps from the Chinese giant such as the productivity suite Lark that had not been blocked in India.
But they were asked to not talk about these apps in the public to avoid putting risk of other ByteDance properties also sharing the limelight. The source said ByteDance also stopped all marketing efforts in India to promote its other services in the country.
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