According to Indian media Economic Times, Chinese multinational internet company ByteDance is looking to launch a second corporate entity in India after ByteDance India Services Ltd, the entity it currently operates under. As of November 2019, ByteDance had a workforce of over 500 in India and plans to double the number over the near-term.
ByteDance’s new entity will provide IT and IT-based support for all ByteDance platforms and businesses, including TikTok India and social media app Helo, and address content generated across various platforms as well as other cross-region issues. Bytedance, which is expected to apply to the Indian government and regulators of the new company in the coming weeks, also wants to ramp up local recruitment and transfer data and technology to India.
In the first half of 2019, TikTok was granted a temporary injunction by the Indian government. AbHishek Manu Singhvi, a senior lawyer representing Bytedance at a hearing of India’s Supreme Court, revealed that the company was losing 45 million Rupees a day. In addition, TikTok was given a rating of 1.2 by Indian netizens for spreading the “acid attack” video, and was publicly criticized by the head of the Indian Women’s Council. Since its launch in India, TikTok has been embroiled in controversy over issues such as fake news, child abuse and discrimination against women.
In July 2019, a Bytedance spokesman said the company would build a data center in India in the next 6 to 18 months with an initial investment of $100 million. Apart from TikTok and Helo, ByteDance is also promoting its office suite Lark and music streaming app Resso in the Indian market.
Despite the controversies, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok downloads globally, generating 611 million downloads to date, or 30.3% of the total, according to a report published by Sensor Tower in April. According to Economic Times’ earlier reporting, Bytedance’s revenue in India has reached 437 million Rupees and the profit was 34 million Rupees.
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