TikTok could set up in London 'to distance itself from China'

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TikTok could set up in London 'to distance itself from China'

Popular social media app Tik Tok could be moving to London, according to reports.

The video sharing platform is reportedly looking to set up a headquarters in the UK as the firm tries to try and distance itself from China.

TikTok has declined to comment on its plans.

But US President Donald Trump has clashed with the video platform in the US over alleged links to the Chinese state and Mr Trump is threatening to ban the app.

So the move could put the UK at odds with Trump.

But reports suggest the move is almost a done deal, with the UK set to give the green light to a new headquarters for the service in London.

This would mean also key executives relocating to the UK.

Last month, the app’s head of public policy for Europe, Theo Bertram, denied the company had halted plans for a London HQ because of escalating tensions between the UK and China over Huawei and Hong Kong.

“We are still thinking about what to do about our global HQ and we haven’t made any decision on that yet, and anything else is speculation,” he said.

TikTok has come under scrutiny over US fears that personal data could be accessed by China, something the app has repeatedly denied.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed it is in talks to buy the platform in the US after discussions between its chief executive Satya Nadella and President Trump over the app’s security.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the White House plans to take action against a number of Chinese software companies it sees as linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat — there are countless more … are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,” he said.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm Bytedance, insists personal data cannot be accessed by Beijing and that it has no ties to the Communist Party.

Microsoft said its discussions with Bytedance over a possible buyout would be completed by September 15.

“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” the US tech giant said.

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the president’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”

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