Jiemian.com has exclusively learned from multiple ByteDance employees that starting from November 2023, TikTok’s front-end and back-end developers, data analysts, algorithm engineers, and other positions working in China have been receiving notices to transfer to overseas locations. The work locations include Singapore, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
A TikTok employee told Jiemian.com that if they accept the transfer, they can receive a salary package that is about twice as much as what they would earn domestically, along with a two-year housing subsidy. If they do not accept the transfer, there is currently no requirement for them to resign involuntarily, but the number of job positions related to TikTok’s business in China has been significantly reduced.
Jiemian.com has sought confirmation from ByteDance regarding this matter, but as of the time of writing, there has been no response from them.
In 2020, TikTok was investigated by multiple countries including the United States, European Union, and Australia on grounds of data security. In August of that year, there were rumors of a potential sale agreement between TikTok and Microsoft, but ultimately TikTok remained independently operated in the United States. To address these risks, TikTok started establishing data centers in Europe, the United States, and other regions from 2020 onwards while also complying with local regulations.
Some departments of TikTok have a significant proportion of employees who have voluntarily transferred to work overseas, while there are also some employees who are unwilling to transfer due to personal or family reasons.
The aforementioned informed sources believe that this move is a normal operation by TikTok to ensure global compliance. Currently, compliance has become the primary concern for companies expanding overseas. Without compliance, there can be no discussion of company growth and revenue.
According to data from the application analysis firm DataAI, TikTok has nearly 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. Among them, TikTok’s monthly active users in the United States have exceeded 150 million, which is close to 45% of its total population.
In terms of revenue, according to The Information report, ByteDance’s second-quarter revenue grew by over 40%, reaching $29 billion. Revenue from overseas markets accounted for nearly 20% of ByteDance’s total revenue. Based on this estimation, it is highly likely that the company’s overseas market revenue will exceed $20 billion this year with a growth rate of over 50%. TikTok contributes significantly to this portion of the revenue.