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ByteDance in talks with RIL for investment in TikTok: Report

1. TikTok’s business in India “is being valued at more than $3 billion”, the report added.
2. Prior to the ban, TikTok had over 200 million users in India.

SNS | New Delhi |

China’s ByteDance is in early discussions with Reliance Industries Ltd. for investment in TikTok’s India business, a report stated on Thursday, citing sources.

As per the report issued on TechCrunch said that the “two companies began conversations late last month and have yet to reach a deal”.

TikTok’s business in India “is being valued at more than $3 billion”, the report added.

ByteDance or Reliance Jio was yet to comment on the report.

In June, India banned the popular video-sharing app TikTok, WeChat and other 57 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns after tension between India and China spiked at the finger areas of the Pangong Tso in Ladakh region.

Prior to the ban, TikTok had over 200 million users in India.

The speculations come at a time when several employees working with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance are actively seeking opportunities outside the company as the platform stares at an uncertain future due the ban on the app in the country.

ByteDance has nearly 2,000 employees in India and has now put the pause button on new hiring.

Soon after its ban in India, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer who is also the COO of ByteDance said that employees are the company’s “biggest strength” and their wellbeing its “topmost priority”.

“We have also assured more than 2,000 strong workforce that we will do everything in our power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities that they can be proud of,” Mayer said in a blog, addressing the company’s India staff.

However, these assurances appeared to be not enough to calm the minds of many of the company’s anxious employees.

Their worries mounted after the platform faced threat of a similar ban from the Donald Trump administration in the US even as Microsoft disclosed plans to buy TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand by mid-September, a deadline set by the US President.

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed executive orders banning popular Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, terming them a threat to the national security and to the country’s economy.

It has emerged that what is TikTok’s loss, could be gains for the Indian startups that are trying to fill the gap left vacant by the ban. Many TikTok employees are now reportedly seeking opportunities with rivals like Chingari, Trell, Bolo Indya and Sharechat, among others.