TikTok Shrinks Global Business

Chinese media outlet Cailian Press reported on July 19 that people from ByteDance said that the short video sharing app TikTok is adjusting its global business. The plan is to pay attention to its development in India, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East while shrinking its business in other regions.

On July 18, WIRED also reported that TikTok began to restructure its business and organization globally, with the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom being the most affected. The company stopped team expansion and recruitment while, and some overseas employees were fired. TikTok executive David Ortiz announced his dismissal on Monday as part of the “restructuring plans”. Staff have said that these measures will have a great impact on TikTok’s business in several Western regions.

TikTok originally planned to develop its live commerce business in Germany, Italy and the United States this year but, due to recent controversies regarding live commerce in the UK and some dissatisfaction caused by the overseas promotion of the “996” model (12 hours a day, 6 days a week), the company has cancelled its expansion plan.

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In recent years, TikTok’s user base and staff have been expanding rapidly. In September last year, the number of monthly users of the platform exceeded 1 billion and thousands of employees around the world. The company’s rapid growth and popularity among young users have also affected Facebook’s social application Instagram and Google’s video platform YouTube, which have launched competing short video products.

Aside from TikTok, well-known technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Tesla have announced their own plans to lay off employees or slow down recruitment. In June this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he felt bad about the economic situation and would lay off 10% of the company’s paid employees. Meanwhile, in July this year, Twitter announced that it had laid off 30% of its recruitment team.