TikTok plans two more data centers in Europe

Chinese social media company TikTok plans to open two more data centers in Europe, a senior executive said on Friday, in a move that could ease concerns about the security of users’ data and ease regulatory pressure on the company.

TikTok has sought to assure governments and regulators that users’ personal data cannot be accessed and its content cannot be manipulated by the Communist Party of China or anyone else under Beijing’s influence.

The short video sharing app, owned by China’s ByteDance, aims to expand its data storage in Europe, TikTok’s general manager for Europe operations Rich Waterworth said in a blog post.

“We are in the advanced stages of finalizing a plan for a second data center in Ireland with a third-party service provider, in addition to the site announced last year,” he said.

“We are also in talks to establish a third data center in Europe to further complement our planned operations in Ireland. Data from European TikTok users will start migrating this year, continuing into 2024,” Waterworth said.

On Friday, the company also reported an average of 125 million monthly active users in the European Union between August 2022 and January 2023, subjecting it to stricter EU online content rules known as the Digital Services Act ( DSA).

The DSA labels companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms and requires them to manage risk, externally and independently audit, share data with authorities and researchers and adopt a code of conduct.

The European Commission had given online platforms and search engines until February 17 to publish the number of their monthly active users. Very large online platforms have four months to comply with the rules, under penalty of fines.

Twitter said on Thursday it has 100.9 million average monthly users in the European Union, based on an estimate of the last 45 days.

Alphabet provided one set of numbers based on user accounts and another set based on signed-out recipients, stating that users can access its services when they log into an account or when they log out of the account.

He said the monthly average number of connected users totaled 278.6 million on Google Maps, 274.6 million on Google Play, 332 million on Google Search, 74.9 million on Shopping and 401.7 million on YouTube.

Earlier this week, Meta Platforms said it had 255 million average monthly active users on Facebook in the European Union and around 250 million average monthly active users on Instagram in the last six months of 2022.

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