TikTok has fired its entire staff in India, almost three years after the short video platform was banned by the central government over national security reasons. Prior to the ban, the Bytedance-owned app has its second-largest user base in India. The TikTok employees working out of the India office were focusing on Brazil and Dubai markets, after the company lost market share in the country. The latest move can be considered the end of TikTok’s final chapter the country.
“We have taken the decision to close our India remote sales support hub, which was put in place at the end of 2020 to provide support to our global and regional sales teams. We greatly appreciate these employees and their impact on our company, and will ensure they are supported at this difficult time,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
As per reports, the company had 40 employees working in TikTok India. After a call on Monday, the workers were pink-slipped. They were assured nine months of severance pay.
“The TikTok India employees were told that February 28 would be their last day and were given feelers to look out for other opportunities for some time as it was conveyed that restarting India operations were not going to take off because of the government’s stance on Chinese apps,” a source close to the organization told Economics Times. Back in 2020, Tiktok was banned in India along with 300 other Chinese apps over national security issues.
TikTok is facing a similar scrutiny in the US over the country’s national security. The Biden government had argued that the social media app poses a “high risk due to a number of security issues.” In December, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration banned the app on all House-managed devices in the U.S. Following this, a partial or full ban on the Chinese app was imposed by several states in the United States, which has at least 100 million TikTok users.
The Chinese company has been in negotiations with Washington for three years, assuring the U.S. government that its users’ data cannot be accessed and content cannot be manipulated by the Communist Party or anyone else in its home country.