TikTok announced on Friday that it is in the process of setting up two more data centers in Europe, in order to address growing concerns about data privacy for its users in the West. The company’s European general manager, Rich Waterworth, said in a blog post that the plan for a second data center in Ireland is in the advanced stages of finalization. Talks are also underway for a third center, though the location has not been disclosed. Waterworth added that the migration of European user data to the new centers will begin this year.
The Chinese-owned video sharing app has been subject to criticism from European and American authorities over fears that it could collect and send user data to China. Last month, the CEO of TikTok was warned by a top EU official that the company would have to comply with the Digital Services Act, which mandates that online platforms and tech companies with 45 million or more users take extra steps to remove illegal content and disinformation, or face hefty fines.
TikTok reported that it has 125 million monthly active users in the EU, and 150 million users including non-EU countries such as Britain and Switzerland. Other tech giants such as Google, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, and Instagram have also released their monthly user numbers in time for the Friday deadline. Facebook has 255 million monthly active users, while Instagram has 250 million users. Twitter has 100.9 million users, Apple’s iOS App Store has more than 45 million users, Google Search has 332 million signed-in users, and YouTube has 401.7 million signed-in users.