Byte-Dance in Talks with Reliance Industries Ltd. to Save TikTok India’s Operations
TikTok has been banned in India since June 29 as a result of Geo-political tensions between India and China. 59 Chinese apps were banned including TikTok over security and privacy concerns and overnight, TikTok lost its largest operating market of 200 million users outside China.
In hopes to save TikTok’s fate in its biggest market by users, Chinese giant ByteDance is engaging in discussions with Reliance Industries Limited for backing TikTok’s business in India.
Initiated last month, the discussion is said to be at an early stage between both the companies and has not reached at a conclusion yet. TikTok’s business could fetch a valuation of around $2.5–5 billion, or about 10 per cent of the reported $50 billion valuation globally for the entire firm.
ByteDance has also been struggling to retain its key employees from India. It has ensured the employees that it is in conversation with Indian government to raise concerns and does not lay-off employees in the country so far.
Even though Jio Platforms has bagged nearly 400 million subscribers in India in less than four years of its existence, the consumer apps have not received the same response so far. An investment in TikTok could help Reliance, make deeper connections with consumers.
With time, a number of TikTok rivals have also come up in the market. From local apps like Chingari which has integrated features to provide similar experience to TikTok. Facebook has also launched Reels on Instagram in India last month, which is somehow similar to TikTok and has seen daily engagement across its family of services surge more than 25% since the TikTok’s ban in the country.
Lately, Microsoft has also been actively considering to buy acquiring all of TikTok’s global operations, including the Indian and European units. Therefore, there might be a possibility that ByteDance may sell the Tik-Tok’s business in the country to other overseas or Indian buyers if Microsoft does not end up buying TikTok India.