Recent reports show that TikTok is making preparations to build its first Europe data center in Ireland. The project will cost $500 million. The data center will serve as storage for videos, messages, and other data from European users. As of now, all user records of TikTok are stored in the U.S., and backup copies are in Singapore.
The announcement comes as the U.S. is forcing TikTok to sell and threatening to ban it for “national security reasons”. Microsoft is now following up on the talks. According to TikTok, setting up a European hub is part of its long-term plan. Also, Theo Bertram, TikTok’s director of European public policy, said: “This is a huge investment. It marks our long-term commitment to Europe and I think it’s an important message for our users and creators”.
TikTok’s European chief data protection officer currently in Dublin tackling some necessities. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is negotiating with the company on behalf of other EU countries to address privacy concerns. According to TikTok, this investment will lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs.
On August 3, ByteDance released its latest statement saying that TikTok is committed to being a global company. However, due to the current situation, ByteTok is considering re-establishing its TikTok headquarters. These headquarters will not be in the U.S. anymore to better serve global users.
TikTok will have to sell to an American company
Microsoft has officially confirmed that it is in discussions with ByteDance over the purchase of TikTok. The discussion covers TikTok’s operations in the U.S. but may also include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsft has until September 15 to negotiate a deal with TikTok. After this date, there will be a ban on TikTok in the U.S. The American tech giant is still in discussions to explore the acquisition of TikTok in the US. In fact, Microsoft CEO and President Trump already had a discussion over this issue.
Microsoft will take swift action within a few weeks to discuss with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. In any case, it will complete the discussion before September 15, 2020. The discussion with ByteDance will be based on a proposal submitted by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
ByteDance had previously sought to retain a minority stake in TikTok’s US operations, but the White House refused. According to Reuters, under a new proposed transaction, certain US-based ByteDance investors may have the opportunity to obtain a minority stake in the business.