China-based, TikTok’s parent ByteDance is reportedly deepening its roots as the Chinese multinational internet technology company in Asia’s third-largest economy by setting up a second corporate entity in the country.
The new entity is said to provide Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled services support to all of ByteDance’s platforms worldwide and business across the world, including India.
According to a media report, ByteDance was expected to file a formal application with the government and regulators, including the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in the next few weeks.
“There will be data and technology transfer into India with ByteDance looking to ramp up its workforce in India, a market where the company will look to create a centre of excellence over the near-term,” one of the sources said.
The company will also work on the content generated across its various platforms and issues that the company is facing from across countries.
Besides TikTok, the company with a secondary private market valuation of about $110 billion, owns and operates social media platforms, Helo apps, content discovery platforms which include Toutiao and Douyin and the Chinese twin of Tik Tok, Xigua Video.
The move towards a second corporate entity comes at a time when ByteDance, which counts the likes of SoftBank, General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital China, KKR and Hillhouse Capital among its investors, has been fighting allegations regarding national security risk and handling of personal data across its various markets in various countries.
According to a report published by Sensor Tower Store Intelligence in April, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok installs, generating 611 million lifetime downloads to date, or 30.3 per cent of the total. It has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally on the App Store and Google Play, it said.
However, the company has been under the radar for the type of content available on its apps like TikTok. The short video-sharing platform recently received a lot of flack due to controversial content on its platform, after which it's rating on the Google Play Store dropped to 1.2 out of 5. Google, after a few days, deleted some reviews, restoring TikTok’s rating on Play Store to 4.4.
Last month, however, a news daily, reported that in India, downloads in April and May dropped down compared to the previous two months, due to decrease in marketing and advertising budgets amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a constant anti-China sentiment that saw users calling for a ban on the app.