TikTok to invest almost $500m in its first EU data center in Ireland

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
Tik Tok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Omar Marques/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/PA Images)
Tik Tok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Omar Marques/SOPA Images/Sipa USA/PA Images)

TikTok will spend €420m (£378m, $497.5m) opening its first European data centre in Ireland, it has announced.

The centre, which will store videos, messages and other data generated by European users, is expected to be operational by 2022.

Currently, all TikTok data is stored at centres in the US and Singapore. This includes users' ages, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, stored contacts, GPS coordinates, IP addresses, device information, web browsing and search histories, anything posted online, payment information, keystroke patterns and screen tap rhythms, among other things.

TikTok has vowed to “improve the safeguarding and protection of TikTok data” at this base, following evaluation of security practices that were implemented when the platform was smaller but may no longer work at its current scale.

READ MORE: TikTok's UK headquarters in doubt as US considers ban

“Companies get into trouble when they assume that systems, technologies, policies, and practices that were sufficient at one point in time will work forever,” chief information security officer Roland Cloutier said in April.

TikTok previously launched its EMEA Trust & Safety Hub in Dublin at the start of the year, making the country a “key player” in its European expansion, and solidifying its “long-term commitment to Ireland,” the company said.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “TikTok’s decision to establish its first European data centre in Ireland, representing a substantial investment here by the company, is very welcome and, following on from the establishment of its EMEA Trust & Safety Hub in Dublin earlier in the year, positions Ireland as an important location in the company’s global operations.”

Meanwhile, ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the video-sharing app, is set to move its headquarters from Beijing to London, after talks with the UK government, several media outlets reported earlier this week.

READ MORE: Highest earning TikTok influencers 2020

This comes as US president Donald Trump considers banning the app in the US unless it is bought by an American firm and gives the government a “sizable portion” of the purchase price.

Trump has accused TikTok and other Chinese companies of providing data to the Chinese government.

While ByteDance denies this, it is in talks to sell its US, Canada, New Zealand and Australian business to Microsoft.