Despite app ban, ByteDance doles out cash bonuses to employees in India


New Delhi: Despite facing a ban on its TikTok and Helo apps for close to three months in India, ByteDance is doling out cash bonuses going up in lakhs to its Indian employees, who are hopeful of being absorbed under a global deal.

The move is in line with a global announcement through an internal memo earlier this month, wherein ByteDance stated it will be issuing a cash bonus to all eligible employees to help them overcome the ‘challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing macro environment.’

All full time ByteDance employees who have worked for 26 or more working days between July to August in India are getting bonuses this month and bonuses for some mid senior to senior employees ranged from Rs 1-4 lakh, people familiar with the matter said.

ByteDance has 2000 plus employees in India. The company confirmed the update on bonuses but did not provide details.

Some mid level employees got bonuses around Rs 50,000. In a report dated September 8, Bloomberg cited the letter from ByteDance to its employees which stated full time employees who have worked for 26 or more working days between July to August will be given a bonus worth half their August base salary.

On June 29, India banned 59 Chinese applications including TikTok and Helo from ByteDance. The ban is ongoing.

ET had reported on September 3 that several Chinese apps including music streaming app Resso from ByteDance, were among the top 100 free Android apps in the country that were yet to be banned, even as the government barred 118 more Chinese apps on September 2.

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There have been no layoffs at ByteDance India so far and no salary cuts. There are no talks of any impending plans for pay cuts either, a person familiar with the matter said. ByteDance has also hired some professionals in its sales teams during the ban as part of its previous plans to scale up sales teams in the country, the person said.

ByteDance said on Thursday it has filed applications to the Beijing Bureau of Commerce and it awaits the decision from the bureau to determine if the company is subject to China’s newly amended technology export list.

China’s amended regulations in August include new restrictions on artificial intelligence-related technologies, including algorithm based services like those offered by TikTok.

In a blog post on Monday, ByteDance said that it will own 80% of TikTok Global which led US president Donald Trump to say the proposed deal for TikTok which involves the setting up of a new US-based company, TikTok Global, will not be approved if ByteDance retains control.

“Everything is going to be moved into a cloud done by Oracle, it’s all through the cloud. And it’s going to be totally controlled by Oracle…and if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal,” Trump told Fox News.





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