Nikhil Gandhi told employees that clarifications have been submitted to the government and that TikTok will continue to allay any further concerns they may have.

TikTok India head wrote to employees assuring them of return
Atom TikTok Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 15:56

Even as PUBG is set to return to India in a new avatar with an India-specific game, popular short video app TikTok is reportedly trying its best to return to the country. The app’s India head Nikhil Gandhi reportedly wrote to employees assuring them of the same and said that it sees immense growth opportunities in the country as it ‘strongly believes in the long-term potential’ of the Indian market.

TikTok was banned in India on June 29 along with 58 other apps including Helo, by the Union government citing ‘national security’ issues.  The government said at the time that these apps engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

Ever since, ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company has been liaising with the government to comply with local norms, address concerns, and be able to have the ban revoked.

According to an Economic Times report, the company has been looking for companies to partner with for legal, policy, advocacy, and communication functions in the country.

In the letter to employees, Nikhil reportedly said that the company has ‘demonstrated unequivocal commitment to comply with the local laws, including data privacy and security requirements’, and so are optimistic about a positive outcome.

“Our clarifications have been submitted to the Government and we will continue to allay any further concerns they may have. Together with our employees, we remain dedicated to our users and creators who have found not only recognition but also new avenues of livelihood through our platform,” Gandhi reportedly wrote.

“We remain committed to the positive impact our platforms can have on the society. Our employees have been at the heart of our business and we place utmost importance on our employees' personal and professional well-being," he added.

ByteDance has over 2,000 employees in India who work on TikTok and Helo, both of which were banned. However, the company has reportedly not laid off or cut salaries of any employees.

In fact, the company gave its employees cash bonuses globally, including in India to keep employee morale up amid the pandemic and as it tries to get its operations up and running once again.

ET also reported on September 26 that ByteDance had given out cash bonuses running up to lakhs of rupees to its Indian employees despite being shut.

ByteDance has over 2,000 employees in India, and the move was in line with a global announcement in September, wherein ByteDance had said it would issue cash bonuses to all eligible employees to help them overcome the ‘challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing macro environment.’

India was TikTok’s largest market in terms of number of downloads and users. At the time of the ban, TikTok was downloaded 611 million times in just the first quarter of 2020, which was about 30% of the app’s total downloads across the world that quarter.

This also comes at a time when TikTok received a 15-day extension to its ban in the US to reach a deal with its American buyers. The ban on TikTok was set to be enforced from Thursday in the US.

This means that the deadline for ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, to reach a deal with Oracle and Walmart has been extended from November 12 to November 27, Xinhua news agency quoted the US District Court for the District of Columbia as saying in the filing on Friday.

With IANS inputs

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