TikTok’s European data centre in Ireland is expected to be operational by early 2022

Beijing-based parent company ByteDance has been working to distance its domestic Chinese operations from TikTok to appease overseas regulators

, the embattled video-sharing app that has found itself at the centre of Washington-Beijing tensions, is setting up its first data centre in Europe with a 420 million euros (US$500 million) investment in Ireland, the company announced.

Promising to create hundreds of jobs, improve “the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data” and shorten loading times for users in Europe, the new data centre is expected to be operational by early 2022.

Once it goes online, European user data will be stored at that location, TikTok said. The outfit established its EMEA Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin earlier in the year and said the new investment “signals our long-term commitment to Ireland.”

Beijing-based parent company

, the world’s most valuable start-up, has been working to distance its domestic Chinese operations from TikTok to appease overseas regulators.

It has been accused by US legislators and the Trump administration of hoovering up user data and thus creating a national security risk, and it is currently facing a six-week deadline to conclude a deal with

or another American company for the sale of its US operations. It presently stores international user data on servers in the US and Singapore.

The move to expand its operations within EU borders is part of TikTok’s global effort to prove itself a responsible internet citizen and a trustworthy service provider. As part of the new data centre development, TikTok is also continuing to grow its data protection and privacy teams, the company said.

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