ByteDance is cutting down its 2,000-person team in India, where TikTok is still banned

  • TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, told staff Wednesday it's cutting down its 2,000-person team in India.
  • The job cuts follow India's decision to retain its ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps.
  • ByteDance did not confirm how many jobs it plans to cut.
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China's ByteDance is cutting down its 2,000-plus team in India and is unsure when TikTok, which it owns, will make a comeback in the country, it told employees in an internal memo on Wednesday.

The move came after India on Tuesday decided to retain its ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps following responses from the companies on issues such as compliance and privacy.

The ban dates from last year, when political tension between the neighbours rose over their disputed border.

"We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived … we find that has not been the case," ByteDance wrote in the memo, which was seen by Reuters.

"We simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while our apps remain un-operational … we don't know when we will make a comeback in India."

Read more: Why India banned 59 apps including the wildly popular TikTok over a geopolitical dispute with China

In a statement, the company said it was disappointing that despite its efforts, it had not received a clear direction on how and when its apps could be reinstated. It did not specify how many employees would lose their jobs.

Before the ban, India had been one of TikTok's largest markets and ByteDance in 2019 had laid out plans to invest $1 billion in India.

At the time of last year's ban, the Indian government described the apps as prejudicial to the "sovereignty and integrity of India." The move followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site that killed 20 Indian soldiers.

In the US, the former Trump administration ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok citing national security concerns, and sought to impose restrictions that would have effectively barred its use.

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