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TikTok stakeholder is organizing bids for assets in India, report says

The app's parent company is getting pressured to offload its operations in several countries.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest

TikTok got banned in India in June.

Angela Lang/CNET

Softbank Group, a Japanese stakeholder in TikTok parent company ByteDance, is leading negotiations in India to buy the short-video app's assets in that country, according to report from Bloomberg. While initial negotiations have failed, the report said Thursday, Softbank still actively looking for bidding partners in India.

Softbank has played a central role in international negotiations as China-based ByteDance attempts to navigate increasingly fraught political environments, including in the United States. While Softbank's US talks fizzled after President Donald Trump ordered that the sale be to an American company, the Japanese conglomerate may still be able to leverage a deal in India.

These negotiations are happening quickly, as governments have threatened or carried out threats to block the social media app in their countries over national security concerns, including India's decision in June to ban TikTok. The US, for example, is worried that the Chinese government may have access to the user data that TikTok collects, including information that could damage US security. 

The bans come as the app continues to expand its reach. According to research firm Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times, and India is its largest market, followed by Brazil and the US (where Trump, too, has given the company a short period of time to offload its assets).

Softbank didn't responded to a request for comment. TikTok declined to comment. 

Clarification at 9 a.m. PT: Softbank itself may be attempting to buy TikTok's assets in India.