Chinese social-media company TikTok has announced it will build two additional data centers in Europe.
- In addition to an Irish data center that TikTok committed to last year, the video-sharing social-media company has committed to two additional data centers.
- The announcement comes as TikTok battles security concerns in the U.S. and Europe.
- During the announcement, TikTok complied with new EU regulations by sharing that it has around 125 million monthly active users in the EU. The Digital Services act requires online platforms to disclose the total number of users.
- Including non-EU countries, TikTok says it has around 150 million active users.
- One of the additional data centers will also be in Ireland, and the third’s location has not been disclosed.
Why it’s news
TikTok has faced growing criticism both in the E.U. and the U.S. as the countries worry about data security and privacy. TikTok has denied that Chinese authorities influence the app, but several reports have detailed the company’s close connection with Chinese authorities.
Already many U.S. states have banned the app on government devices. Some lawmakers are discussing a national ban as well. The company is facing similar threats in Europe as several European authorities have already expressed interest in banning the app, The Wall Street Journal reports.
TikTok’s user data is currently stored in Singapore and the U.S. It will begin transitioning European user data to European storage sites later this year. Keeping user data closer to home is one way TikTok hopes to ease the worries of EU and U.S. officials.
Backing up a bit
Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers announced that the TikTok CEO had been asked to appear before the committee to address lawmakers’ concerns with the social-media company.
Rodgers claims that TikTok has knowingly allowed the Chinese Communist Party to access user data through the app.
“We’ve made our concerns clear with TikTok. It is now time to continue the committee’s efforts to hold Big Tech accountable by bringing TikTok before the committee to provide complete and honest answers for people,” Rogers says.
Chew is set to appear before the committee on March 23.