Tesla CEO and Twitter's new boss Elon Musk has fired 90% of employees of its India unit over the past weekend when the company cut short its overall workforce by about half globally.

Twitter's overall strength in India stood at around 200 people across its offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Of this, a majority of employees from the engineering, product department, marketing and communications teams have been laid off, leaving the company with just around a dozen staff members in the country, a global news agency reported citing sources. The news could not be verified independently as the company's India unit has not issued a statement so far.

Globally, the company laid off anywhere between 45-50% of the total strength of 7,500 employees. It has not revealed the official numbers, though in an internal mail before the layoffs, it said the firings will impact "a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter".

The layoffs were initiated last Friday. To avoid chaos, Twitter kept its offices closed on Friday and all badge access was suspended. Those who faced the axe were informed via their personal emails, while those unaffected by the layoffs received notifications on their official emails.

Notably, India, which is one of the thriving markets for companies like Google and Meta, among others, has around 23.6 million Twitter users, the Statista data as of January 2022 shows.

The only two countries that have more Twitter users than India are the US and Japan at 76.9 million and 58.95 million, respectively, the Statista data shows. Analysts say that with the workforce across departments reduced to about a dozen, it'll be interesting to see how the company will be run in the days to come. The platform has often been accused of allowing the spread of fake news and misinformation in the country. It had also been at loggerheads with the government over regulatory issues.

Musk, who has clearly said he wants to make Twitter profitable, and the most authentic place of information, has also said the microblogging platform will launch its much-anticipated 'Twitter Blue' service in India in less than a month.

The service, which costs $7.99 a month, has started rolling out in select countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Few more features like fewer ads, the option to post longer videos and priority ranking for quality content will be rolled out soon, the company said. Twitter Blue feature will allow users to have a better news reading experience, and early access to select new features and extras like the option to choose app icons and add quick access to favourite destinations.

According to Musk, Twitter needs to become, by far, the most accurate source of information about the world. "That’s our mission," he tweeted. On ensuring free speech on the platform, Musk said his commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following his plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.

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