September 28, 2023

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TikTok stakeholder is organizing bids for assets in India, report says


Angela Lang/CNET

Softbank Group Corp, a Japanese stakeholder in TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance Ltd., is leading negotiations in India to organize a deal to transfer the social media giant’s assets in the country, according to a report from Bloomberg. While initial negotiations have failed to materialize, the report says the Japanese company is still actively looking for bidding partners in India.

Softbank has played a central role in international negotiations as the Chinese-owned social media company attempts to navigate increasingly fraught political environments, including in the United States. While Softbank’s US talks fizzled after President Trump ordered the sale must be to an American company, the Japanese conglomerate may still be able to leverage a sale in India.

These negotiations are happening quickly, as governments have threatened or carried out threats to block the social media company in their countries over security concerns, including India in June. Such bans come as the app continues to expand its reach. According to research firm Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times, and India is its largest market, followed by Brazil and the US (where President Trump, too, has given the company a short period of time to offload its assets).

Neither TikTok nor Softbank responded immediately to requests for comment.

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