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Report: TikTok's Global HQ Won't Be In US

Video-sharing social media app TikTok and its parent company, China-based Bytedance, is looking for a global headquarters and no U.S. cities made it on to a shortlist, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Benzinga · 12/23/2019 15:55

Video-sharing social media app TikTok and its parent company, China-based Bytedance, is looking for a global headquarters and no U.S. cities made it on to a shortlist, according to The Wall Street Journal.

What Happened

TikTok's most-senior executive works out of Shanghai, China and the company's Los Angeles office only runs the U.S. business, WSJ reported. TikTok doesn't have a headquarters and some of the cities the company is considering including London and Dublin.

Establishing a global presence outside of China would help in easing scrutiny from U.S. politicians over national-security and censorship concerns, according to WSJ. The company may also want to be closer to growing markets in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

Why It's Important

A source told WSJ TikTok has been discussing internally a global headquarters outside of China for a few months but is now accelerating the process "because of the things happening in the U.S."

However, establishing a home base in Europe or elsewhere is "unlikely to fool anyone," Peter Fuhrman, founder of China First Capital told WSJ. TikTok's move is akin to "dressing a panda in a business suit."

"They'll still be in congressional crosshairs and still subject to the same stringent content rules within China itself," he said.

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