Mukesh Ambani Negotiating To Buy Tiktok In India, Avoiding Layoff Of 2000 Employees

Hanima Anand |Aug 13, 2020

The giant corp of billionaire Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries Limited is reportedly discussing with ByteDance company to buy TikTok in India after it was banned in the country.

According to latest reports, the Reliance Group of Asian richest man Mukesh Ambani has engaged in serious discussion with TikTok’s owner, the Chinese company ByteDance since last month. This movement resembles the situation of TikTok branch in America when Microsoft is also negotiating for a deal before September 15th.

Mukesh Ambani And Tiktok In India
Mukesh Ambani quickly grabbed the chance to buy TikTok India after its ban last month.

The ban of TikTok in India along with 58 Chinese apps on June 29 has left an enormous void in the market of 1.3 billion population. Before the ban, TikTok gathers over 200 million users in the country, making India the second-largest market outside China.

In fact, many Indian companies aim to fill the void with numerous introductions of video-sharing apps such as the Chingari or HiPi app. These apps all receive impressive investment and gain a huge number of downloads. However, none of them has acquired nationwide popularity as the Chinese app yet.

Chingari Vs Tiktok
Chingari app was among Indian apps to attract lots of TikTok users after the ban.

If Reliance and ByteDance agree on the deal, it would benefit both sides and the public as well. When TikTok hasn’t been banned, ByteDance employed over 2,000 people in India in total. Now, these employees are still waiting for their fate, depending on whether TikTok can convince the Indian government to allow its operation here or not. TikTok once promised that they would not lay off employees for the time being, before they could reach an agreement with the government. Should Reliance buy TikTok, these people are probably back to work, plus more labours recruited for an expansion.

Not just that, all the TikTok stars in India and TikTokers who used to earn their income from this platform can also sustain their life through the pandemic. The value of TikTok’s business in India is currently estimated at over $3 billion. If it’s not Reliance, the biggest corp in the country, hardly is there any firm that can afford that whopping amount of money.

Jio Platforms Reliance Group
Even Jio can't replicate the experience that Indian users got from TikTok.

Before this, Jio Platforms, a product of Reliance groups with roughly 400 million users is expected to fill in the needs of TikTok users but it doesn’t. This fact, together with the recent investment from Google and Facebook into Mukesh Ambani’s business, explains for Reliance’s desire to acquire TikTok India.

Sources reveal that the private talks between ByteDance and Reliance are still taking place in the context that ByteDance wants to retain its key employees in the country namely Rohan Mishra but it can’t persuade the Indian government to continue its operation. Reliance owner, Mukesh Ambani, on the other hand, is the most powerful businessman in India and a close ally of PM Narendra Modi. He is surely able to convince the government to let TikTok run in the country while conforming to national rules.

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