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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Reliance Jio might invest in TikTok, early discussions with ByteDance

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As ByteDance continues to struggle in the US, a new report claimed on Thursday that China-based company that owns the short-video making app TikTok may sell its India business to Reliance Jio amid uncertainties around its operations in the country. Also Read – TikTok will pay over $2 billion to creators in next 3 years

Citing people familiar with the early-stage discussions, TechCrunch reported that the “two companies began conversations late last month and have yet to reach a deal”. Also Read – JioPhone 5 under works as cheapest JioPhone model: Expected price is under Rs 500

TikTok’s business in India “is being valued at more than $3 billion”. ByteDance or Reliance Jio were yet to comment on the report. Also Read – Chinese app ban: TikTok now wants to store Indian users’ data locally

The speculations come at a time when several employees working with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance are actively seeking opportunities outside the company as the platform stares at an uncertain future due the ban on the app in the country.

ByteDance has nearly 2,000 employees in India and has now put the pause button on new hiring. Soon after India announced the ban on TikTok, along with 58 other apps over national security concerns, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer who is also the COO of ByteDance said that employees are the company’s “biggest strength” and their wellbeing its “topmost priority”.

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However, these assurances appeared to be not enough to calm the minds of many of the company’s anxious employees. Their worries mounted after the platform faced threat of a similar ban from the Donald Trump administration in the US even as Microsoft disclosed plans to buy TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand by mid-September – a deadline set by the US President.

Written with agency inputs

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