Investments

Report: ByteDance Seeks TikTok Investment From India's Reliance

ByteDance, the parent of assailed video-sharing app TikTok, is working with India's Reliance Industries in order to save the company's Indian business via a financial investment, TechCrunch reported.

India was the biggest market for TikTok, with over 200 million users there before it was banned by the government in June along with 58 other apps from Chinese firms due to security concerns. It is being valued at over $3 billion. A deal with Reliance, owned by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, an ally of the prime minister's, could help to soothe government fears, the report stated.

ByteDance and Reliance reportedly began talking late last month and so far haven't reached a decision on what will happen. Neither company commented on the speculation, with Reliance saying it didn't comment on rumors, according to the report.

ByteDance has been struggling to hold onto employees in India. In recent weeks, a handful of high-level executives have departed, including Rohan Mishra, who had been in charge of operating Helo, another ByteDance-owned app, in the country. The company employs around 2,000 people in India and says it does not plan to lay people off. It is currently in talks with the Indian government to resolve its concerns, TechCrunch reported.

TikTok has been embroiled in scandal for weeks now as various governmental entities try to parse whether it has been taking data from those using its service. President Donald Trump has signaled that he wants to pursue a ban in the U.S., saying the app has serious security concerns and could lead to blackmail or spying.

The company's data collection methods have been called into question after a report found TikTok had used wide-reaching measures in the past that are heavily encrypted and allow companies to build buyer profiles that are unshakable in almost any instance unless the user gets a new phone.

TikTok is still hawking its wares, though, including a partnership with the New York Yankees and the YES Network that it says will "bring exposure" to its community.

The company is also in talks with Microsoft in the U.S. about a possible buyout, which could be its last effort to remain in the country.

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