ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of the short video-making app TikTok, is considering refreshing the app’s corporate functioning and making it an individual unit, with a new official headquarters away from Beijing, Indian media reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the developments.
The app launched in 2017 outside China; as of now, it has never had a separate headquarters away from ByteDance. However, in response to India’s ban on the platform and US claims that it may follow India's lead, senior company executives are deliberating about moving away.
The reports are spreading like wildfire on Twitter, leaving Indian netizens mocking the banned app for choosing to abandon its Chinese parent company in order to preserve the revenue it generates in markets like India and the US.
What..... seriously.....😂😂😂— Saloni Rajgaur (@Salonirajgaur) July 10, 2020
Paisa kya nahi karwata hai...
Tiktok in damage control mode. If they lose US market after Indian market it'll be too huge of a blow to recover. Not a good day at the office for them.— Sukhi Banerjee (@BanerjeeSukhi) July 10, 2020
It will still be a Chinese company no matter what. Hard to believe TikTok will say no to Chinese government .— Sam (@SamStreet1982) July 10, 2020
As of now, no official confirmation or denial of the news has been issued by TikTok.
After India imposed a ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser, ShareIt and WeChat, among others, China’s state-run publication The Global Times claimed that the move had severely affected the confidence of Chinese investors.
The Chinese government’s mouthpiece also reported that the apps India banned are now considering shutting down their offices and laying off their Indian employees, citing "official sources".
In recent months, Chinese brands like Xiaomi and TikTok were found to be tracking the locations and incognito search histories of their users in India using illegal means, such as SIM-tapping, Indian tech reviewers and other media reported.
In addition, India also witnessed a 300 percent jump in hack attacks allegedly carried out by China-backed hackers, Cyfirma, a Singapore-based cyber research firm, claimed in its latest report.
In the aftermath of the app ban, Indian authorities are now seeking information from these Chinese companies about their business practices in India.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent the parent companies of the banned Chinese apps questionnaires, seeking information on their methods of operation, data collection and the locations of operational offices, citing anonymous officials, local media reported.