Bytedance layoffs: TikTok dad or mum Bytedance begins layoffs in India after everlasting ban

Chinese internet giant ByteDance has started laying off workers in India after the government last week imposed a permanent ban on its popular apps, TikTok and Helo.

Up to 800 of the 2,000+ employees could lose their jobs, said several people aware of the matter. Others said anyone could be hit except 100-200 people supporting global teams or in critical roles. Those laid off will be offered severance pay and health packages, said the aforementioned people.

ByteDance did not comment on the number of layoffs. India was TikTok’s largest international market before it was initially locked together with others in June due to border tensions with China. However, those associated with the company said it is keen to maintain a presence in India, albeit with a smaller team for now. “This is an important market for us and we continue to strive to resolve this issue,” said one of them.

Vanessa Pappas, Interim Global Interim Head of TikTok, and Blake Chandlee, Vice President of Global Business Solutions at TikTok, sent employees an internal email about the future in India. A company-wide conference call was held on Wednesday morning with all Indian employees to announce the layoffs.

“In 2020 we had to close some of our stores due to a temporary ban imposed by the Indian government,” the January 27 email said ET saw a copy of it. “We have since done our best to address the concerns. We regret that this was the result of a lack of clear guidance from the Government of India on how and when our apps could be reintroduced. ”

The company had hoped that the initial downtime would be short-lived and kept the employees on hold.

“Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to ensure that no one has to be separated from the company,” it said. “We have cut costs and paid for the services at the same time. However, we simply cannot responsibly remain fully occupied as long as our apps are not working. ”

The cuts will extend to executive, salaried and non-permanent roles.

In an official statement, the company said it had worked steadfastly to comply with the government ordinance issued on June 29, 2020.

“It is deeply regrettable that after more than half a year of supporting our 2,000+ employees in India, we have no choice but to reduce the size of our workforce,” said ByteDance. “We look forward to the opportunity to restart TikTok and serve the hundreds of millions of users, artists, storytellers, educators and performers in India.”

With more than 200 million registered users, TikTok was the most famous among the 59 apps temporarily banned by the Indian government in late June. MeitY had stated in new notices about the apps last week that their responses and clarifications after they were discontinued were found to be insufficient and the ban was therefore maintained. ET reported on Wednesday that several apps presented a legal challenge.

TikTok, which became a phenomenon in India with user-generated short videos, had 659.5 million downloads in the country before the ban was imposed, representing 30% of global downloads according to Sensor Tower. While it remained the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world in 2020, its growth has been hampered by India’s ban.

Since then, more than a dozen new player apps have launched to replace TikTok. Indian gamers like Josh, Roposo and MX Takatak have grown in many ways since the ban and are conquering about 40% of the TikTok market, according to a report by consulting firm Redseer. MX Player, owned by MX Takatak, is a Times internet company that is part of the Times of India Group, which also publishes the Economic Times.

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