Popular video-sharing app TikTok, threatened with a ban in the United States over its Chinese ownership, on Thursday announced plans for its first data centre for European users in Ireland.
Roland Cloutier, TikTok’s global chief information security officer, said the 420-million-euro ($498 million) project would be operational by early 2022.
In a blog posting, he said it would ‘play a key role in further strengthening the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data, with a state of the art physical and network security defence system planned around this new operation’.
‘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,’ he wrote.
Data from TikTok users, who make quirky 60-second videos with its smartphone app, is currently held in the United States and Singapore.
The company, which has as many as one billion worldwide users, is currently the focus of the latest diplomatic and trade dispute between Washington and China.
President Donald Trump has threatened to ban the firm, which is owed by China’s ByteDance, unless its US operations are sold swiftly to a US company.
US officials say the app constitutes a national security risk because it could share millions of Americans’ personal data with Chinese intelligence.
Beijing has accused Washington of ‘outright bullying’.