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ByteDance may sell TikTok India operations to screen zero platform Glance

ByteDance is reportedly mulling the idea of selling the India operations of TikTok to a local rival, Glance to breathe new life into the app which has otherwise been indefinitely banned by the Indian Government.

Akarsh Verma | February 14, 2021 | Updated 09:45 IST

Highlights

  • ByteDance is exploring the sale of TikTok India to rival unicorn Glance.
  • The discussions have been initiated by Japan's SoftBank Group.
  • Last month, ByteDance reduced its 2,000-plus India staff and said that it's unsure of resuming operations in the country.

China's social media giant ByteDance is said to be exploring the possibility of a sale of the India operations of TikTok to rival unicorn Glance according to a Bloomberg News report on Saturday.

The talks, initiated by Japan's SoftBank, are currently in the initial phase, according to people familiar with the matter, as cited by Bloomberg.

Glance's parent company, mobile advertising technology firm InMobi, also operates video-sharing social media platform Roposo, which has boomed in India after the South Asian nation introduced a ban on using TikTok last July. SoftBank is reportedly a backer of InMobi as well as of TikTok's Chinese parent, ByteDance.

Softbank, ByteDance, and InMobi did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

The step comes just months after India's Ministry of Electronics and Information imposed a permanent ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, extending restrictions introduced last June over compliance and privacy concerns.

In response, ByteDance reduced the size of its team in India, where the corporation had employed more than 2,000 people. Beijing, in turn, accused India of violating basic market principles and the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Diplomatic and economic ties between the two Asian powers have worsened after 20 Indian soldiers including their commanding officer were martyred in a military clash with Chinese troops in the Himalayas in June. Since then, a "Boycott China" sentiment has spread across Indian social media.

According to the report, the Indian government will insist that the user data and technology of TikTok stay within its borders if the talks progress.

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