ByteDance to cut jobs in India, retain only critical roles following TikTok ban
ByteDance has told its employees in India that they will be cutting jobs and reducing the size of its team in India. This comes just after the Indian government retained the ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps, according to reports.
ByteDance shared the news with employees in India at 10AM today and informed them that only critical roles would be retained in the country.
The company said that they were left with no choice since th Indian government has not offered any clarity about when TikTok can possibly make a return in the country, a source told TechCrunch. TikTok was banned along with more than a 100 other Chinese apps in June last year including PUBG Mobile.
ByteDance's interim global head, Vanessa Pappas, wrote a letter to its employees informing them about the company’s downsizing plans with immediate effect.
“As you can imagine, the magnitude of this decision is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, while still paying benefits. However, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while our apps remain un-operational," Pappas wrote.
Pappas said they were not sure when it will be allowed to resume operations in India, but remained hopeful.
The letter does not mention how many people TikTok will let go out of its over 2,000 employees in India. Industry insiders told Mint that TikTok employees have been looking out for new opportunities for a while now, with homegrown short-video platforms looking to hire TikTok executives.
“It is deeply regretful that after supporting our 2000+ employees in India for more than half a year, we have no choice but to scale back the size of our workforce. We look forward to receiving the opportunity to relaunch TikTok and support the hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers in India,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch.
This is the latest in the line of some rather troublesome developments for ByteDance’s employees in India. Following the ban on TikTok late in June last year, employees in the country were asked to focus on developing other apps for the company like the productivity suite Lark that’s not been banned in India.
The employees were asked to not talk about these apps in public to avoid putting them at risk. The source also told TechCrunch that ByteDance stopped all marketing efforts in India to promote its other services in the country.