Indian startups recruiting talent from banned Chinese apps

TikTok's loss could mean gains for Indian startups.

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A number of Indian startups in the field of social media have confirmed that they are attracting talent from banned Chinese competitors amid uncertainty over their India operations in the long run.

Chinese app ByteDance, which owns TikTok and Helo, has nearly 2,000 employees in India.

“We’ve got various interests from the employees of ByteDance and other competitive companies. We have received close to 100 resumes from them,” said Sumit Ghosh, CEO and Co Founder of Chingari.

The homegrown short video app Chingari had recently raised 1.3 million (around Rs 10 crore) in a seed round. It has approximately 25 employees.

Another Indian short video-making app, Rizzle, has said that about 10 former TikTok employees have joined it.

“Rizzle attracts a number of sharp engineers, marketers, and other talented individuals from a variety of companies across India, which includes ByteDance among others. An approximate of 10 employees have joined us,” said Lakshminath Dondeti, Co-founder of Rizzle.

Soon after India announced the ban on TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese apps, in July, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said that employees are the company’s “biggest strength” and their well-being is its “topmost priority”.

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However, these assurances appeared to be not enough to calm the minds of many of the company’s anxious employees.

Another short video-sharing app, Mitron, which became popular in the wake of the anti-China sentiment, is also looking to hire “the best talent in the country.”

“At Mitron, we are hiring the best talent in the country across product, engineering, marketing and other functions and give them a platform where they can impact the experience of millions of users,” said Shivank Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Mitron. “We look for specific skills that the role requires irrespective of which company they come from.”

It has now emerged that what is TikTok’s loss could be gains for the Indian startups that are trying to fill the gap left vacant by the ban.

However, all these apps will have to deal with the challenge of holding on to their users and attracting top-notch creators to emerge successful in the long term.

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