Over the past few weeks, TikTok has seen the future of its app and business come under threat as privacy concerns regarding its alleged links to the Chinese government continue to grow. It has resulted in Microsoft looking to acquire the firm in order to stay up and running in the US, and now more efforts are being made to distance TikTok from China.

This as the company is reportedly wanting to create a data centre presence in the European Union, and Ireland in particular.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the firm could pay as much as $500 million in order to spin up a data centre int he region.

ByteDance, which owns TikTok, explains that the data centre could be up and running in 2022, with it helping to create hundreds of jobs in the EU. More importantly though, it would result in, “the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data,” the company tells the SCMP.

Such a move could appease regulators in other parts of the globe, with a handful of countries already banning use of TikTok in their borders over data privacy concerns.

India is one such example, with the nation already looking to ban more than 300 apps originating from China. If an EU data centre were set up, it could help reverse the Indian government’s decision, which could prove pivotal for TikTok given that India was is largest market.

Should a Microsoft acquisition happen, however, it remains to be seen if the decision to spin up data centres in the EU will go ahead as planned.

For now, Microsoft is looking at securing the social media app’s business in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which leaves a question mark over other regions like Europe and South Africa.

Either way TikTok’s efforts to distance itself from China have intensified, and it could prove a tactic that other firms employ should they also come under data privacy scrutiny.

[Image – Photo by Olivier Bergeron on Unsplash]