TikTok leadership believes in long term potential of India market: Nikhil Gandhi


TikTok’s leadership strongly believes in the long-term potential of the India market and sees ‘immense growth opportunities’ for the short video platform, its country chief, Nikhil Gandhi, has written in an email to employees.

The government banned the Chinese, ByteDance-owned app in June, citing ‘national security’ concerns following a prolonged border standoff with China.

“We remain committed to the positive impact our platforms can have on the society. Our employees have been at the heart of our business and we place utmost importance on our employees’ personal and professional well-being,” Gandhi said in the email, according to people familiar with the matter.

They said employees have been assured that TikTok was making best efforts to resolve the situation in India.

ByteDance confirmed that an email addressed to its India employees had gone out from Gandhi’s office, but declined to comment further.

ET reported on November 11 that TikTok was
working on a comeback strategy for India.

Gandhi said the company had demonstrated ‘unequivocal commitment’ to comply with local laws, including data privacy and security requirements, and is therefore optimistic about a positive outcome.

“Our clarifications have been submitted to the government and we will continue to allay any further concerns they may have. Together with our employees, we remain dedicated to our users and creators who have found not only recognition but also new avenues of livelihood through our platform,” he wrote.

TikTok has been hunting for partner firms for functions such as legal, policy and advocacy and communications in India, people aware of the development had told ET.

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ET also reported on September 26 that ByteDance had given out cash bonuses running up to lakhs of rupees to its Indian employees despite being shut.

ByteDance has over 2,000 employees in India, and the move was in line with a global announcement in September, wherein ByteDance had said it would issue cash bonuses to all eligible employees to help them overcome the ‘challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing macro environment.’

A source had told ET there have been no layoffs at ByteDance India and no salary cuts so far. The company has also conducted an annual performance review cycle for staff, in line with global cycles.

On Tuesday, TikTok — which had been staring at a possible ban under the administration of US President Donald Trump —
asked a Washington court to stop an order from the administration from taking effect this week.





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