India Freezes ByteDance's Bank Accounts for Alleged Tax Evasion: Report

March 31, 2021 3:31 am

Beijing (PingWest)—India has blocked ByteDance’s bank accounts for alleged tax evasion, Reuters reported, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

In mid-March, the Indian authorities ordered two of ByteDance India’s bank accounts in Citibank and HSBC to be blocked because of alleged evasion of certain taxes in online advertising dealings between the ByteDance unit in India and its parent entity in Singapore, TikTok Pte Ltd, said the report.

The authorities also directed Citibank and HSBC to prevent ByteDance India from withdrawing funds from any other bank accounts linked to its tax identification number.

The directive to freeze ByteDance India’s bank accounts came after tax authorities last year inspected documents at the company’s office, scrutinized documents, and questioned some executives in relation to the advertising and other transactions with its parent entity, the first source said.

ByteDance said, “We disagree with the decision of the tax authority” in this matter, adding that it was committed to legal compliance and will cooperate with the government.

For national security and sovereignty considerations, TikTok and hundreds of other Chinese software were banned in India last year.