Twitter Inc has shut two of its three India offices and told its staff to work from home, underscoring Elon Musk’s mission to slash costs and get the struggling social media service in the black.
Twitter, which fired more than 90% of its roughly 200-plus staff in India late last year, closed its offices in the political centre New Delhi and financial hub of Mumbai, people aware of the matter said. The company continues to operate an office in the southern tech hub of Bengaluru that mostly houses engineers, the people said, declining to be identified as the information is private.
Billionaire chief executive officer Musk has fired staff and shut offices around the world as part of an effort to get Twitter financially stable by late 2023. Yet India is regarded as a key growth market for US tech giants from Meta Platforms Inc to Alphabet Inc’s Google, which are making long-term bets on the world’s fastest-growing Internet arena. Musk’s latest moves suggests he’s attaching less importance to the market for now.
Twitter has evolved in past years into one of India’s most important public forums, home to heated political discourse and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 86.5 million followers. Yet revenue there isn’t significant for Musk’s company, which also has to contend with strict content regulations and increasingly savvy local competition.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An exodus of workers – many of whom were fired – since Musk’s acquisition has raised concerns about whether Twitter can sustain its operations and regulate content. Musk this week said he may need till the end of the year to stabilise the company and make sure it’s financially healthy.
Since the US$44bil buyout, Twitter has failed to pay millions of dollars in rent for its San Francisco headquarters and London offices, been sued by multiple contractors over unpaid services, and auctioned off everything from bird statues to espresso machines to raise money.
Musk has also openly floated the idea of bankruptcy, and cited a “massive drop” in revenue as advertisers fled over concerns about Twitter’s ability to weed out undesirable content. The platform has also experienced significant glitches and outrages, most recently just this month. – Bloomberg