TikTok (owned by ByteDance), which has been banned in India since June 2020, has closed its remote sales support hub in India.
TikTok, the popular short video app banned in India since 2020, has laid off its roughly 40 remaining workers in the country amid increasing regulatory scrutiny of Chinese tech companies by New Delhi.
“We have taken the decision to close our India remote sales support hub, which was put in place at the end of 2020 to provide support to our global and regional sales teams,”
a TikTok representative said on Monday.
The staff working out of the India-based office was looking after the Bytedance-owned company’s operations in Brazil and Dubai mostly. Employees were also given hints that operations in India may not be renewed owing to the Indian government’s tough stand on Chinese applications.
TikTok, which enjoyed the second highest market in India with over 200 million users, was dealt a huge blow when it was banned in 2020 with 300 other Chinese apps. The government decided that these products were detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
In 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded app in India on Android.
TikTok could face a similar fate in the United States, where it has been the most downloaded app since 2021. Reports of China accessing user data to track location of US citizens have intensified the efforts to limit the app’s usage in the country.
Last December, US President Joe Biden signed a law banning TikTok from government devices. Over half of US states have passed similar regulations. Many colleges and schools have also followed suit. The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote this month on a bill aimed at blocking TikTok.
In November 2022, TikTok admitted that personal data of its European users could be viewed by its employees in China. The announcement applied to users in the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and Switzerland but not the US. However, it added that European users' data was stored in the US and Singapore.
Sources: SCMP, Hindustan Times