Engage Chinese giant ByteDance is in early discussions with India’s Reliance Industries to support TikTok app business in India.
This step will preserve the life of the popular video app in its largest market in terms of number of users.
TikTok has been banned in India since June 29 due to geopolitical tensions with China that prompted New Delhi to block the app along with 58 other Chinese apps due to security and privacy concerns.
India is the largest app market outside of China in terms of the number of users, with more than 200 million users.
ByteDance employs 2,000 people in India, and the fate of those employees hinges on the company’s ability to persuade the government to let them work or sell itself.
ByteDance and Reliance Industries began the talks late last month, and they have not reached an agreement yet. One source said: The commercial activity of the TikTok app in India is estimated at more than $ 3 billion.
An investment in TikTok could help giant Reliance Industries make deeper connections with consumers.
Reliance Industries manages the communications project Jio Platforms, and even though GEO platforms have gathered nearly 400 million users in India in less than four years of their existence, their applications have struggled to achieve this success.
Since late April this year, Geo platforms have raised nearly $ 20 billion from 13 prominent investors, including Facebook and Google.
Google said: It will work with Geo platforms to launch a special version of the Android mobile operating system to run low-cost Android smartphones, while Facebook said it will cooperate with Reliance to help digitize 60 million small and medium-sized companies in the country.
The initial talks between the two companies come as ByteDance struggles to retain some key employees in India.
Last week, a group of high-ranking executives left the company, including the head of policy who oversaw the business of Helo in India, which is owned by ByteDance.
ByteDance assured employees that it is in talks with the Indian government to resolve New Delhi’s concerns, and has no plans to lay off employees in the country.
ByteDance deals separately with Microsoft to sell commercial activity in specific markets, including the United States, as confirmed by the US software giant earlier this month.
The Financial Times reported last week that the two companies had expanded the deal to include the business of TikTok in other markets, including Europe and India.