TikTok has been in discussions with the British government over the past few months to locate its headquarters in London, a source familiar with the matter said, as part of a strategy to distance itself from its Chinese ownership.
- London thought to be amongst the locations TikTok is considering for its global HQ
- The company is fighting privacy-based litigation around the world and at the same time attempting to distance itself from its Chinese owners
London is among one of several locations the company is considering, but no decisions have been made, the source said.
It was not immediately clear what other locations are under consideration. But it has hired aggressively in California this year, including poaching Kevin Mayer, a former Walt Disney Co executive, to be TikTok’s CEO. He is currently based in the United States.
TikTok is facing heavy scrutiny in Washington over suspicions China could force the company to turn over user data. TikTok is owned by China-based ByteDance.
The source said the company is largely focused on its issues in the United States over the last few weeks, but has not ruled out London as a potential location for its new headquarters. TikTok is expected to “significantly” increase the size of its workforce in London and other key locations outside of China over the next several years, the source said.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported Tiktok has broken off talks with the British government to open a global headquarters in the UK.
A source said Tiktok was still in discussions with Britain’s government.
TikTok declined to comment.
Via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Echo Wang in New York. Editing by Jonathan Oatis.