TikTok global HQ could be on its way to London
CONTROVERSIAL video app TikTok could be welcomed with open arms should it decide to move its international headquarters to London, but may be asked to store user data on British shores, Boris Johnson’s advisers are expected to recommend.
A review into the Chineseowned social network, which is used by almost half of all British children aged 8-12 according to Ofcom, will recommend that the app can continue to operate in the UK. This is despite a possible ban in the US amid concerns Beijing can access its users’ data, something that TikTok says it does not allow.
ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, is looking for new 30,000 sq ft offices in the capital and could treble its staff to 1,000. But regulators across Europe and politicians in the UK have voiced concerns over whether Britain is accepting a large risk by taking advantage of the US’s hostility and ByteDance’s offer of more jobs.
“With a flashy campus in the UK ByteDance would be free to masquerade as a British equivalent to Facebook or Google, gaining credibility in London,” Conservative politician Iain Duncan Smith told Bloomberg, which first reported on the review’s conclusions.
Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug 6 in effect banning the app in the US if it fails to find an American owner next month. ByteDance is in talks with Microsoft, Oracle and reportedly WeWork backer SoftBank about TikTok.