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TikTok to Open $500m Data Centre in Ireland Amid Global Expansion

Ross Kelly

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TikTok

TikTok’s new data centre is expected to create hundreds of jobs and enhance user data protection.

TikTok has announced plans to build a $500 million (£375m) data centre in Ireland amid ongoing global expansion plans.

In a statement, the social media upstart revealed it will store videos, messages and other data belonging to European users at the data centre.

Traditionally, TikTok data has been stored in the United States, with back-ups hosted in Singapore.

TikTok boasts more than one billion users around the world and is available in 150 countries globally.

Commenting on the announcement, TikTok’s global chief information security officer, Roland Cloutier, said: “This new regional data centre will deliver tangible benefits, including enabling faster loading time that will help our TikTok community to enjoy an even better experience.

“When our data centre is operational, European user data will be stored in this new location.”

Hundreds of news jobs are expected to be created through the data centre when it opens in the next 12 to 18 months.

TikTok will also join a host of other major technology companies with operations in Ireland. Facebook, Amazon and Google currently operate in the country, employing thousands of staff.

The announcement comes amid a period of rapid expansion for TikTok. Earlier this year, the social media firm launched its EMEA Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin. Since then, the company has expanded its team and plans to open more sites globally.

Cloutier said: “Ireland already plays a key role in our rapidly expanding European operations.

“Since establishing our EMEA Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin at the start of this year, we have rapidly expanded our team and appointed senior leaders who are continuously enhancing the strategies, policies and processes to keep people on TikTok safe.”

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2020 has, so far, presented significant challenges for the video-sharing app. US President Donald Trump recently warned the company is a national security risk due to alleged ties to the Chinese regime.

TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company, Bytedance, has repeatedly denied such allegations.

President Trump has threatened to ban the video-sharing app on 15th September unless its US operations are sold to Microsoft.

Microsoft confirmed this week it is in talks with Bytedance to acquire TikTok’s US operations, as well its Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations.

Amid the ongoing political uncertainty, this week Instagram unveiled its own competitor app, Reels, which is launching globally on iOS and Android.

The video-sharing app, which is similar to TikTok, allows users to create short 15-second videos and share them with friends and followers.

Bytedance hit out at Instagram’s Reels announcement, accusing the company of plagiarising TikTok’s video-sharing format.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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