TikTok bosses are reportedly spending a whopping $1.3 billion to build three new data centres to avoid European bans on the app by keeping users' data localised.
Heads of the firm behind the app ByteDance are believed to be splashing out on building three new data centres - two in Ireland and one in Denmark - to keep European users' data local by the end of 2024 in a bid to calm fears over links to the Chinese government.
TikTok's parent company's management is based in Beijing, but the company is registered in the Cayman Islands, and bosses have long denied the firm would have to share user data with the Chinese government. TikTok has around 150 million registered users in Europe.
According to Wired.co.uk, the plans are named 'Project Clover' and also include setting up a ‘’transparency centre’’ - which regulators will be able to visit to see how the app works - and working with an external consultant based in the UK to look over the company's cybersecurity protocols.
It's believed the project aims to prove the firm is not breaking laws on EU data transfers or sharing any sensitive user data to China.
TikTok’s vice president of public policy in Europe, Theo Bertram, said: ‘’We believe that this is genuinely industry-leading. No one else has done something like this.’’
German MEP Moritz Korner - who has previously criticised TikTok, claiming the app poses ‘’unacceptable risks’’ - has since said Project Clover' is ‘’a step in the right direction’’, but added: ‘’It does not ensure that European data, requested by Chinese authorities, will not in the end be transferred to China. Just like US Big Tech companies, TikTok is trapped between diverging legal requirements. It has to obey Chinese law while also attempting to obey EU law.’’