Chinese tech major, ByteDance, has reportedly announced that it is in negotiations with India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., for an investment in the company’s video-based app TikTok. The two companies are reported to have opened talks towards the end of July and have not reached a deal yet, state sources.
For the uninitiated, ByteDance is a Chinese multinational internet technology major, founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012. The company has its headquarters in Beijing and its core product, Toutiao, is a major content platform in China and across the globe.
As per sources, the Indian government had reportedly imposed a ban over 59 Chinese apps, including WeChat and TikTok, for threatening the country’s “sovereignty and integrity” following border tensions with China. The previous week, U.S. President Donald Trump also put bans over U.S. transactions with the China-based owners of TikTok and WeChat, escalating tensions between the two nations.
According to reports, RIL’s investment in Tiktok is expected to address the fears of the Indian government, which banned the TikTok app in the country after serious objections were raised over its alleged links with the Communist government in China, even though the company has vehemently denied it.
Further, the deal could not only save TikTok’s fate in one of its largest markets but also furnish the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate with an opportunity to establish deeper connections with its customers. Prior to the ban in June, TikTok India had a valuation of $3 billion with a subscriber base of over 200 million.
Experts opine that the combined capabilities of TikTok and RIL’s platforms can really do wonders for Ambani’s plan to brace RIL into a tech-driven company. RIL also had a host of major investors, comprising Facebook and Google, on board and has amassed nearly 400 million subscribers. While Microsoft has been in talks for the acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. operations, social networking major, Twitter, has also expressed a keen interest in initiating an agreement with TikTok.