TikTok to expand European Data Centers and announced plans to expand its data centers in Europe, with two new centers set to address growing concerns over data privacy. The move comes amid criticism from European and American authorities over the Chinese-owned video-sharing app’s handling of user data in the West.
According to Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s European operations general manager, the company is “at an advanced stage of finalizing a plan” for a second data center in Ireland. The new center will be added to TikTok’s existing data center, which was announced last year. Additionally, the company is in talks to set up a third data center, but the location has not been disclosed yet.
Waterworth mentioned that the expansion of data storage capacity in Europe is aimed at ensuring the safety and privacy of user data, with data for European TikTok users set to be migrated to the new centers starting this year.
The move to expand data centers in Europe follows concerns that Beijing could use TikTok to collect data on Western users or push pro-China narratives and misinformation. As a result, the European Union’s new Digital Services Act mandates that online platforms and tech companies with 45 million or more users take extra steps to clean up illegal content and disinformation or face potential fines.
TikTok reported 125 million monthly active users in the EU, putting it over the threshold for extra scrutiny under the new rules set to take effect later this year. The company has a total of 150 million users, including non-EU countries such as Britain and Switzerland.
Other major social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, faced scrutiny under the new regulations as they released monthly user numbers ahead of a Friday deadline. Facebook reported 255 million monthly active users, while Instagram had 250 million users. Twitter reported having 100.9 million users, and Google’s Search service had 332 million signed-in users, while YouTube had 401.7 million signed-in users. Apple did not provide a specific number but stated that its iOS App Store had more than 45 million users.
TikTok to Expand European Data Centers is a strategic move to address privacy concerns and comply with new EU regulations. As the app’s popularity continues to grow among young people, ensuring the safety and privacy of user data remains a priority for TikTok and other major tech companies.