Twitter Inc. fired more than 90 per cent of its staff in India over the weekend - part of global reductions by new owner Elon Musk - severely depleting its engineering and product staff in a potential growth market.
The company employed just over 200 people in India, and the cuts left it with just about a dozen staff, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
India is a key growth engine for global internet companies such as Twitter, Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, which are relying on its large potential pool of new online users. Yet the companies are also facing increasingly strict content regulations aimed at reining in big tech firms in the country.
About 70 per cent of the jobs cut in India were from the product and engineering team which worked on a global mandate, one of the people said. Positions were also slashed across functions including marketing, public policy and corporate communications, the people said. Globally, San Francisco, California-based Twitter reduced its headcount by about half or roughly 3,700 workers.
Twitter didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
India has one of the most febrile political conversations on Twitter, with competing parties regularly slinging allegations back and forth and accusing each other of spreading misinformation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has more than 84 million followers on the service. It's unclear how Twitter expects to moderate that discourse with its newly reduced staff in the country, which has more than 100 languages.
Twitter's India offices are located in New Delhi, the financial capital of Mumbai and the southern tech hub of Bengaluru.
The company has about 3,700 employees remaining globally, Bloomberg News has reported. Musk is pushing those who remain to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines.