Reliance and ByteDance in talks over TikTok India
CHINA’S ByteDance is believed to be in early talks with Reliance Industries for an investment in TikTok’s business in India.
The two companies began conversations late last month and have not reached a deal yet, according to TechCrunch. Video-sharing app TikTok has been popular in India, with 611 million downloads, according to the analytics firm Sensor Tower.
The app, which has been downloaded more than two billion times globally, uses a content selection algorithm to show users a stream of short videos covering everything from dance routines to comedy sketches.
However, the Indian government in June banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, for threatening its “sovereignty and integrity” after border tensions with China.
If Reliance’s investment in TikTok goes ahead, it could help the oil-retail giant gain more traction with consumers in the country.
Owned by Mukesh Ambani, who with an estimated net worth of $57bn (£45bn) is Asia’s richest man, Reliance Industries has raised $20bn since April with investments from tech giants including Facebook and Google.
ByteDance is also being forced to let go of its TikTok operation in the US.
Last week, president Donald Trump unveiled bans on US transactions with the China-based owners of messaging apps WeChat and TikTok, escalating tensions between the two countries.
Microsoft has been in talks to acquire the US operations of the videosharing app.
Social media platform Twitter has also expressed interest in having a deal with TikTok, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters late last week.
Reliance, ByteDance and TikTok did not respond to requests for comment.
Mukesh Ambani is Asia’s richest man and the owner of Reliance Industries, which is looking to grow its media arm