18:59 GMT26 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): In a "digital strike" India banned a total of 121 Chinese apps between June and August, citing national security concerns, against the backdrop of the ongoing border tensions with Beijing. The banned apps include the popular short video-making app TikTok, which had its biggest market in India with over 600 million users.

    TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance has frozen hiring in the country, according to The Economic Times, citing multiple people familiar with the matter. Around 2,000 Indians are employed by ByteDance, which has its main Indian office in Gurugram.

    The Chinese app player reassigned senior employees to management roles abroad, especially in its Middle Eastern and Australia-based offices, after some of its staff members exited the company following India's ban on TikTok, the outlet reported.

    Nevertheless, the Chinese firm, through internal communications to its employees, maintained that the situation in India is stable at the moment. The eight-year-old company is not executing any formal layoffs, while also starting a new performance review cycle to back up the claims of its position being stable in India.

    After India imposed a ban on TikTok, US President Donald Trump last week listed restrictions on the use of the video-making app on phones registered to government employees, US military personnel, Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration.

    Just as TikTok's future in other countries, including the US, began to look blurry, reports of software giant Microsoft's interest in purchasing the global business, the Chinese app began making the headlines. The possibility of such a deal is currently dicey while deliberations and discussions are still on.

    Earlier in July, speculations of ByteDance considering refreshing TikTok's corporate structure and making it an individual unit with a new official headquarters away from Beijing also surfaced.

    The same month, ByteDance reportedly secured new office space in India's financial capital Mumbai, big enough to accommodate over 1,000 people.

    The relationship between the two Asian giants, India and China, soured after New Delhi lost 20 soldiers in a violent clash with Chinese troops on 15 June in the Ladakh region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The clash came after troops from both countries accused each other of border intrusions. Following the altercation, the "boycott Made in China" movement has gained momentum in India, with the country banning over 100 Chinese apps over national security concerns.

    Tags:
    hiring, Microsoft, Donald Trump, ban, TikTok, India
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