After the Indian Government announced retaining the ban on Tiktok and other Chinese apps, popular Chinese firm Bytedance, parent company of Tiktok, has decided to let go of over two-thirds of its employees.
Sharing more context around the move with employees in a memo, TikTok CEO Vanessa Pappas and VP of Global Business Blake Chandlee said, “We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would be able to resolve this quickly. Seven months later, we find that has not been the case. Many of you have patiently waited to hear how this would play out, which has been very stressful. Thank you for your continued belief and trust in us.”
“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, while still paying benefits. However, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while our apps remain un-operational. We are fully aware of the impact that this decision has for all of our employees in India, and we empathize with our team.”
India banned over 200 apps with links to China in June 2020 amid geopolitical tension between the two nations, citing the apps to be threats to “national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India.” Last week, New Delhi informed ByteDance and dozens of other Chinese firms that it maintains the concerns it had originally charged against them and would retain the ban. Reportedly, prior to the ban, India was the biggest international market for TikTok, which had amassed over 200 million monthly active users in the world’s second largest internet market.
As per media reports, announcing the decision to its employees, the company stated that only critical jobs in India will be retained, with over two-thirds of the workforce at risk of losing their jobs.
“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 the media.
Hopeful of what the future holds, Pappas and Chandlee wrote in the memo, “While we don’t know when we will make a comeback in India, we are confident in our resilience, and desire to do so in times to come.”