TikTok has announced to permanently shut down its operations in India. TikTok is a Chinese short video social media platform. The development comes months after the Indian government announced to ban it. Besides TikTok, over 250 Chinese apps were also banned by the government. The government cited national security concerns as the major reason behind its decision to ban Chinese apps. The company also laid off over 2,000 employees who were involved in running TikTok’s operations in India. The statement said that the company has no choice but to scale down its workforce as it shuts down its services. TikTok did not share the exact percentage or number of staff it laid off. It only expressed regret and added that TikTok tried its best to comply with the local laws.
TikTok was hugely popular among the Indians, especially youth. The platform enjoyed over 120 million active users in the country before it was placed under suspension. The government had in June 2020 banned the app. The crackdown came amidst a strain in India-China ties following a violent clash between the troops of the two nations in the eastern Ladakh region. Other popular Chinese apps that were banned in India include WeChat, UC Browser, SHAREit, and more. According to TikTok’s assessment, India was its biggest market outside China. The app redefined the way people used social media platforms. It allowed users to create small and funny videos and offered interesting features like lip sync.
Meanwhile, despite a ban in India and a legal hurdle in the United States, TikTok was ranked the highest-grossing app worldwide last year. It earned USD 540 million in profit. TikTok also one of the most downloaded apps in 2020. The app fetched 850 million downloads. China-based multinational internet company ByteDance operates TikTok. The company is facing a legal battle in America. To circumvent the ban, the company has announced to set up its headquarters in the country. TikTok is accused of compromising users’ data and having military links.