INTRO: Reliance Industries Limited is in talks with Chinese tech giant ByteDance to invest in TikTok’s operations in India, reports TechCrunch citing two people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the companies started early discussions in late July. However, as per TechCrunch, the tech giants have not reached a deal thus far.
The news comes just a couple of weeks after Microsoft revealed its plans to potentially acquire TikTok’s US operations. Another report on Financial Times revealed that the Redmond giant may takeover TikTok’s global business too.
Due to the uncertainty of TikTok’s future in India, the company’s workforce is said to be falling apart. Notably, TechCrunch‘s sources say ByteDance-owned Helo’s India head Rohan Mishra and other top executives left the company in recent weeks. ByteDance, however, is in talks with the Indian government to resolve security concerns.
As you might be aware, the Indian government banned TikTok in India alongside 58 other Chinese apps in the last week of June. Before the ban, TikTok had over 200 million users and was reportedly valued at over $3 billion. TikTok is also facing a similar situation with its US operations.
If ByteDance’s deal with Reliance bears fruit, it could possibly mean the comeback of TikTok in the country. On the other hand, that would be another way for Reliance to expand its presence in India. Ever since TikTok got banned in India, several TikTok clones have emerged and gained massive traction. If TikTok ever gets unbanned in India, it will be interesting to see if TikTok-like apps would manage to co-exist.