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ByteDance is shutting down its edtech business in India

November 23, 2021 5:07 am

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is shutting down its edtech business in India, TechCrunch reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

In India, the education and technology sector employs three dozen workers, most of whom are being laid off. According to the report, the decision came after a weeks-long discussion in which the company also considered migrating the India team to work with the European edtech division.

After TikTok was banned in India amid China-India conflict last year, the Chinese tech behemoth focused its efforts in the nation on two products: SnapSolve, an educational learning tool, and Resso, a music streaming service.

Founded in May 2020, SnapSolve is a doubt-solving app providing instant solutions to math, physics, chemistry, biology and science doubts and NCERT book questions. 

Thanks to the pandemic-induced shift, the Indian edtech sector is booming, with several new platforms receiving a great amount of funding in the remote learning era. The country is poised to become a $313 billion online education market soon, according to the "Investing for Impact: Education, Skills and EdTech” report released by Gurugram-based Aspire Circle.

Consequently, the competition is extremely fierce with roughly 3,500 edtech startups operating in the emerging market. International edtech giants such as Udemy, Duolingo, and Coursera, as well as local companies such as BYJU's, Dexler Education, and IGNOU, are all vying for the market with huge growth potential.

ByteDance does not have much of an edge when fighting against elite local and international players, thus quitting up is a sensible option. Meanwhile, in China, the company also shrunk its edtech unit as the authorities suppressed online education and barred tutoring for profit in core school subjects.