As the battle for TikTok’s U.S. operations looms, ByteDance, the app’s Chinese parent company, is using what may be its last days of power to distance itself from China.
ByteDance is considering establishing a global headquarters for TikTok, according to a comment given to Digital Trends. While London has been listed as a potential city, ByteDance has only confirmed that it is considering locations outside of the U.S.
“ByteDance is committed to being a global company. In light of the current situation, ByteDance has been evaluating the possibility of establishing TikTok’s headquarters outside of the U.S., to better serve our global users,” said a Bytedance spokesperson.
This isn’t the first time the topic of setting up TikTok’s global HQ outside of the U.S. has entered the realm of possibility. The topic of TikTok’s global HQ first came up in 2019, just weeks after the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment opened a national security investigation into TikTok’s parent company. After added pressure from the Trump administration, it has been confirmed that ByteDance will be forced to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations. While TikTok does not have a current global headquarters, its main offices are located in Culver City, California.
Digital Trends reached out to TikTok for comment and we will update this story when we hear back.
The investigation, and the growing security concerns over TikTok’s data collection plan, came to a head at the end of July, with President Donald Trump announcing a plan to ban the social media app. While the president now supports ByteDance’s divestment of TikTok to a U.S. company, the sale must take place in the next 45 days or the app will be shut down, leaving TikTok a precarious path to the future.
- Bytedance says it will own 80% of TikTok Global, contradicting Trump’s claims
- Trump reportedly still wants U.S. government to get paid in proposed TikTok sale
- TikTok says it’s here to stay; ban from U.S. app stores delayed to September 27
- China would rather see TikTok shut down than have Trump force a sale
- TikTok reaches deal to sell its U.S. operations to Oracle