New Delhi: China-based ByteDance is now in early talks with Reliance Industries Ltd — the parent firm of telecom giant Jio Platforms — to financially back TikTok’s business in India. This move might potentially save the infamous video app’s fate in one of its biggest markets by users.
According to sources, both the companies began conversations late last month but have not reached any deal yet. Before its ban in India in June, TikTok had amassed over 200 million users and is being valued at more than $3 billion.
RIL, on the other hand, has been busy with its high-profile investors since late April. The Indian giant’s digital venture has raised about $20 billion from 13 investors of the likes of Google, Facebook, etc. Hence, an investment in TikTok could potentially help RIL to make deeper connections with consumers. In less than four years, Jio platforms have amassed nearly 400 million users in India alone.
The government of India in June banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, Shareit, Cam Scanner, and several Xiaomi related apps. It stated that the banned apps are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order. This was also during the times of escalated border tensions between India and China.
Additionally, last week even US President Donald Trump doubled down on his demand that any sale of the infamous video making app TikTok to an American company will involve the US government receiving a “very big proportion”.
In a press conference, he said that they have all the cards, without them, TikTok can’t come into the United States. On August 7, the Senate in the United States unanimously passed a bill that will ban the Chinese-owned popular video-sharing app TikTok on all government-issued devices. However, Microsoft Corp has been in talks to acquire the US operations of the video-sharing app.