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UPDATE 1-TikTok to open first European data centre in Ireland

Thu, 6th Aug 2020 10:23

(Adds quote from Irish investment chief, changes dateline from
Stockholm, writes through)

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Chinese-owned video app TikTok,
facing the threat of a U.S. ban, said on Thursday it will set up
its first European data centre in Ireland, extending its
presence in the country where it already has a hub dealing with
regional regulatory issues.

The move comes days after parent company ByteDance said it
was considering moving TikTok's headquarters overseas, following
a British media report that the unit could relocate to London.

TikTok's 420 million euro ($499 million) investment in
Ireland comes at a fraught time in relations between China and
the West, with disagreements on a range of issues from trade and
the handling of the coronavirus to the political situation in
Hong Kong.

U.S. President Donald Trump and other American lawmakers
have said the company is a national security risk and Trump has
said he will ban the service in the United States on Sept. 15 if
its U.S. operations are not sold to Microsoft
.

Ireland is one of Europe's biggest hubs for data centres and
already hosts operations for major technology companies such as
Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet Inc's
Google.

TikTok's data centre will create hundreds of jobs, enhance
TikTok's global capability and signals its long-term commitment
to Ireland, global chief information security officer Roland
Cloutier wrote in a blog post https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-gb/establishing-a-new-european-data-centre-in-ireland.

Foreign firms directly account for one in 10 Irish jobs,
attracted by a low corporate tax rate. TikTok's "Trust and
Safety Hub", set up in Dublin in January, deals with regulators
and governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It also moved its privacy oversight of European users to
Ireland in June and TikTok said its Irish and UK entities will
take over from its U.S. business in managing and safeguarding
the personal data of its European users.

"TikTok's decision to establish its first European data
centre in Ireland is very welcome and positions Ireland as an
important location in the company's global operations," Martin
Shanahan, head of the Irish state agency charged with attracting
foreign investment, said in a statement.

($1 = 0.8420 euros)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Supantha Mukherjee
in Stockholm
Editing by Carmel Crimmins and David Holmes)

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