Government fears that the application's security could be compromised and the platform could be used for foreign interference by China.
Short-video sharing platform TikTok on Wednesday said it would scale down the size of its workforce constituting over 2,000 employees in the country.
The development came seven months after facing a ban in India-Chinese social media firm Bytedance, which owns Tiktok and Helo apps, following continued restrictions on its services in the country.
TikTok’s global interim head Vanessa Pappas and vice president for global business solutions Blake Chandlee in a joint email to employees have communicated the decision of the company that it is reducing team size and the decision will impact all employees in India.
The executives expressed uncertainty on the company’s comeback to India but expressed hope to do so in times to come.
“We have worked steadfastly to comply with the Government of India order issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to make our apps comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns they have,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
“It is therefore disappointing that in the ensuing seven months, despite our efforts we have not been given a clear direction on how and when our apps could be reinstated,” the spokesperson said.
The Indian government initially banned nearly 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community over national security concerns as India-China bilateral relations remain strained after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops in eastern Ladakh.
“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,” the TikTok spokesperson said.
Owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, TikTok said it looks “forward to receiving the opportunity to relaunch TikTok and support the hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers in India.”