Tiktok mulls shifting base to London amid heavy scrutiny over Chinese roots
New Delhi| Jagran News Desk: In a bid to distance itself from Chinese influence, popular short-video app Tiktok has earmarked London as a possible location for its headquarter. ByteDance Ltd, the mother concern of Tiktok, has been in discussions with the UK government over the past few months, news agency Reuters reported. The British capital is among the several locations that the company is considering moving to, but no definite decisions have been taken, the report said.
The video-sharing app has come under heavy scrutiny amid suspicions that China could force the company to turn over user data. The company has been labelled a potential counterintelligence threat by senior members of the US congress. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a fierce critic of the app, has already stated that the United States "certainly looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok. He has accused the company of sharing private information with China's Communist Party. TikTok is expected to "significantly" ramp up the size of its workforce in London and other key locations outside of China over the next several years.
TikTok has attempted to play down concerns about its links to the Chinese state and categorically denied the allegations of being a security risk. The company may also pull out of Hong Kong in light of the contentious security laws granting more power to Beijing.
India has already banned Tiktok citing the video app as threat to its “sovereignty and integrity”. India was TikTok’s top growth market and accounted for 30% of its 2 billion downloads worldwide. The app has 165 million American users, so a ban in US would be a major blow to the company.
Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha