INTRO: If there’s one app that constantly gets into controversies due to its country of origin, that’s TikTok. While the government of India banned the app earlier this month, the US is planning to follow the same path as well. Now, as a step to reduce its Chinese image and perception, the company is reportedly planning to shift its headquarters.
As per a new Reuters report, TikTok is in talks with the UK government to relocate its headquarters to London. The company may significantly increase its workforce in London and regions outside China over the coming years. However, London is just one of the locations the company is planning to relocate to. As per the report, the location has not been finalized just yet.
It remains uncertain what other potential cities TikTok have shortlisted for relocation. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has recently expanded TikTok’s engineering, and research & development operations in Mountain View, California. Hence, Mountain View could be one of the places the company might be considering.
In fact, there are contradicting reports in terms of TikTok’s ambition to move to London. While the sources of Reuters believe TikTok is still in discussions with the UK government, another report from The Sunday Times suggests that the company has withdrawn talks due to a “wider geopolitical context”.
This is not the first time we’re hearing TikTok’s plans to relocate. A couple of months back, it was reported that the ByteDance-owned firm is planning to move its decision-making authorities and research team from China.
Despite constant allegations, former Disney’s Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International division and current TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer promises that the company will not hand over data of TikTok users to the Chinese government.