ByteDance is slicing jobs in India amid extended TikTok ban – TechCrunch

Chinese internet giant ByteDance has told employees in India it is reducing the size of its team in the country after New Delhi maintained its ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps last week, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The company, which employs more than 2,000 people in India, shared the news with employees in the country at 10 a.m. local time, saying that only critical jobs will remain in the country, the source, the company and an internal memo from TechCrunch. ByteDance said it was left with no choice after the Indian government, which banned its marquee app in late June last year, failed to give clear instructions on when TikTok could return to the nation, the source said on condition of anonymity .

“It is deeply regrettable that after more than half a year of supporting our more than 2000 employees in India, we have no choice but to reduce the size of our workforce. We look forward to the opportunity to restart TikTok and serve hundreds of millions of users, artists, storytellers, educators and performers in India, ”a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Before the ban, India was the largest international market for TikTok.

Vanessa Pappas, CEO of TikTok, and Blake Chandlee, VP of Global Business, shared more context about the move with Indian employees in a memo today. “We initially hoped that this situation would only last a short time and that we could resolve it quickly. Seven months later, we discover that it wasn’t. Many of you have patiently waited to see how this would play out, which was very stressful. Thank you for your continued faith and trust in us, ”they wrote.

“As you can imagine, making a decision on this scale is not an easy one. Over the past few months our management team has worked tirelessly to ensure that no one has to be separated from the company. We cut costs and still paid benefits. However, we simply cannot responsibly remain fully occupied as long as our apps are not operational. We are fully aware of the impact of this decision on all of our employees in India and empathize with our team. “

Today’s move closes some of the strangest, most confusing months for ByteDance employees in India. After the ban, employees were told to focus on developing a number of other apps from the Chinese giant, such as the Lark productivity suite, which had not been blocked in India.

However, you were asked not to speak publicly about these apps to avoid the risk of other ByteDance properties falling into the spotlight as well. The source said ByteDance has also stopped all marketing efforts in India to promote its other services in the country.

“While we don’t know when we will make a comeback in India, we are confident in our resilience and aim to do so in the times ahead,” Pappas and Chandlee wrote in the memo.

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