Chinese tech giant ByteDance is in talks with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the parent company of digital services provider Jio Platforms, for an investment into its video-sharing platform TikTok in India.
The two companies began conversations late last month, but nothing has been decided yet, TechCrunch reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Tech in Asia has reached out to ByteDance and RIL for comments.
The move is seen as a way to save TikTok in its biggest market by users after the popular video-sharing platform was banned in India in late June. The app had over 200 million monthly active users in the country. One of the sources said TikTok’s India business is valued at over US$3 billion.
RIL, which has amassed nearly 400 million mobile users with Jio Platforms, could make deeper connections with its consumers through the investment, the report said. Even with its large number of users, Jio’s consumer-facing apps have struggled to generate the same amount of buzz.
It also noted the deal could help ByteDance ease concerns of the Indian government, with RIL CEO Mukesh Ambani being an ally of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The development comes as the US government issued an executive order to ban transactions with TikTok. Microsoft has also been in talks for a potential takeover of the app in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
As the most valuable firm in India, Jio Platforms has raised a total of over US$20 billion in less than four months from global investors such as Facebook, Google, Public Investment Fund, Qualcomm, and Intel Capital. Tech in Asia