Indian authorities have blocked bank accounts of ByteDance in the country for alleged tax evasion and the company has asked a court to quash the directive which it fears will hit its operations hard, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.
ByteDance in January cut its India workforce after New Delhi decided to retain a ban on its popular video app TikTok, first prohibited last year following a border clash between India and China. China has repeatedly criticized India’s move and said it suspected it was against WTO rules.
ByteDance still has around 1,300 employees in India, most of whom service its overseas operations, including work on activities such as content moderation.
In mid-March, two of ByteDance India’s bank accounts in Citibank and HSBC were ordered blocked by authorities for alleged evasion of certain taxes in online advertising dealings between the ByteDance unit in India and its parent entity in Singapore, TikTok Pte Ltd, the two sources said.