After the TikTok ban in India, its Chinese language proprietor Bytedance has discovered a brand new Asian residence
After India closed its door on TikTok, its Chinese owner Bytedance has now found a new Asian home.
According to analysis firm GlobalData, the Beijing-based company is reducing its workforce in India and increasing its recruitment in Singapore. “Bytedance plans to make Singapore its epicenter for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to find neutral ground in the face of ongoing trade tensions between the US and China amid potential national security risks,” said Ajay Thalluri, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData said.
According to GlobalData’s analysis, around 25% of all Bytedance job postings since August 2020 are in Singapore. Some of these roles are in areas such as product and data management, e-commerce, and cloud security.
Get out of India
Before the Narendra Modi government banned the app last June, TikTok had over 200 million users and more than 200,000 influencers in India. In addition, Bytedance had plans to invest $ 1 billion in the country.
In the six months following its suspension, TikTok rallied hard to make a comeback as its optimism was high. The company kept its 2000 employees in the country until the end of last year. The company reportedly signed a new custom office space lease with WeWork Nesco in Mumbai in July, with a lock-up period of 24 months. TikTok even considered moving its headquarters out of China to get goodwill in its largest overseas market.
However, the Indian authorities were adamant. Reports said the January ban was permanent and TikTok threw in the towel. While the exact number of layoffs was under wraps, the company began downsizing its Indian team.
Expand everywhere else
In addition to Singapore, Bytedance is also increasing its presence in other regions such as the Middle East and Africa as well as South and Central America. The company also has open positions in China and around the world in the US, where it plans to hire 10,000 people over the next three years.
“Bytedance’s hiring in China and the US will continue to remain high and will focus on product innovation, research and development,” Thalluri said. “However, the company will create more jobs in markets such as the Middle East and Africa and South and Central America, with an emphasis on marketing and monetizing the company’s popular TikTok app.”
And it looks good in the west. Under Donald Trump’s administration, Bytedance considered selling its U.S. business to Oracle and Walmart, but has chosen not to do so now. Founder Zhang Yiming resisted the sale and urged Bytedance employees around the world to wait for the geopolitical storm. TikTok will now work with the Joe Biden administration to revive US business.
Unfortunately for TikTok, the India debacle may last longer. The next round of voting in the world’s second largest smartphone market will not take place until 2023.
But it doesn’t have to be too worried. Despite the ubiquitous anti-China wave after the coronavirus outbreak, Bytedance managed to assert itself last year. The company’s total revenue more than doubled to $ 35 billion in 2020. Operating profit rose to $ 7 billion during that time, up from $ 4 billion in 2019.
This article first appeared on quartz.