ByteDance in talks with Reliance Industries for investment in its app TikTok
Chinese firm ByteDance is in talks with Reliance Industries for investment in its video-based app TikTok’s business in India. These two companies began to talk late last month and have not reached a deal yet, according to the report. This is a move is to potentially save the video app’s fate in its biggest market by users in India. India has been TikTok’s largest market outside of China with over 200 million users before it was banned.
TikTok was banned in India on June 29 as a fallout of political tensions with China that led to India blocking the app along with many other Chinese apps like UC Browser, ShareIt, WeChat, Club Factory, CamScanner over security and privacy concerns. The Indian government had said that these apps were threatening its sovereignty and integrity. Reports said that Bytedance had faced a loss of over USD 6 billion due to this ban.
ByteDance the parent company of TikTok has employed almost 2,000 people in the country. The fate of these 2,000 people hangs on the company’s ability to convince the government to allow them to operate in the country or sell itself.
If the deal is finalized with the investment in ByteDance, Reliance that operates the telecom venture Jio Platforms will be able to make much deeper connections with consumers.
Since late April this year, the Reliance digital venture has raised about USD 20 billion from 13 high-profile investors, including Facebook and Google. Facebook said it would tie-up with Reliance to help digitize the country’s 60 million small and medium-sized businesses. Google has also said that it would work with Jio Platforms to launch a customized version of its Android mobile operating system.
In the US, ByteDance is in talks with tech giant Microsoft. President Trump has issued an executive order to stop all US transactions with TikTok and WeChat. Last week, US President Donald Trump unveiled bans on US transactions with the China-based owners of WeChat and TikTok, reviving tensions between the two countries. President Trump emphasized that ByteDance must sell its US business to an American company if it wants to save itself from getting banned in the US. Another report says that Twitter is also exploring opportunities to buy TikTok’s US business.
As per sources the social media platform Twitter Inc has also expressed interest in having a deal with TikTok.