SoftBank Group

SoftBank Group eyes partners to bid for TikTok’s assets in India

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SoftBank Group is exploring assembling a group of bidders for TikTok’s India assets and has been actively looking for local partners, according to people familiar with the matter.

Over the past month, the Japanese conglomerate, which owns a stake in TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance, has held talks with the heads of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. While discussions have fizzled since SoftBank is still exploring options, according to the people.

TikTok is considering selling its operations in several countries after local governments shut out the app, citing fears that sensitive user data was passing into the hands of China. India has taken a particularly tough stance, banning 59 of China’s largest internet services in July, including TikTok.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has a long history of investing in India and a deep network of local business connections. Local startups backed by Son include e-commerce provider Snapdeal.com, ride-hailing service Ola Cabs, and hotel-booking startup Oyo Rooms.

Image credits: Twitter

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