ByteDance to Give Cash Bonuses to Staff while the U.S. Scrutinizes TikTok

On Tuesday, TikTok owner ByteDance said that it would give cash bonuses to employees working hard to support it “overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and changing macro environment.”

“Hard Work & Dedication”

Employees who work full-time and have worked for 26 or more working days between July to August will be provided a bonus worth half their August base salary, according to an official letter from ByteDance to its employees that was seen by reporters.

“Thank you for your hard work and dedication,” the letter says. ByteDance has stated it has over 60,000 employees globally.

The bonus could run into hundreds of millions of yuan, according to hiring advertisements of ByteDance and company sources. ByteDance confirmed the letter; however, the company did not provide details.

ByteDance is facing persistent global scrutiny amid concerns about TikTok’s collection of personal data and censoring of political content. The United States has stated it will ban the short video app unless ByteDance sells the U.S. operations of the app amid surging tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Global Pressure

ByteDance has stated the Chinese government does not hold any sort of jurisdiction over TikTok content.

TikTok has also encountered challenges in India, where it was among dozens of Chinese apps banned in June after a border clash between the countries.

“The TikTok team and especially the deal team have been working day in and day out,” a company source stated, adding staff morale at TikTok had been affected by the global scrutiny along with the departure of its CEO Kevin Mayer, who quit after just three months of service.

ByteDance founder and CEO, Zhang Yiming, stated in an earlier letter that the staff had been working hard for “endless hours” amid the surrounding “noise.”

ByteDance’s cash bonuses, which come as many companies, face financial pressure because of the COVID-19, and a slugging economy was on Tuesday among the most popular and discussed topics on Maimai, China’s version of LinkedIn.

Late last year, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei [HWT.UL] also stated it would hand out 2 billion yuan ($293 million) in cash rewards to staff as a symbol of recognition for work in the face of a U.S. trade blacklisting.