Beijing-based ByteDance Inc., TikTok wants to find ways to make the business appear less Chinese and is considering setting up global headquarters outside of China.
The concerns about its shift come amid a U.S. foreign-investment review and criticism over the users’ data that TikTok had gathered. Many well-known U.S. senators have charged the company with censoring content on behalf of the Chinese government and had also called for a national security review for the 2017 purchase of Musical.ly.
Musical.ly is a social-media company that had its office in California. However, it eventually merged into TikTok in 2018, which no doubt helped it gain over 100 million app downloads in the U.S.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “the company is looking at the drastic step to appease US lawmakers and security establishment, who have often expressed concerns at the company’s Chinese origins and claimed that it poses a national security risk.”
According to reports, TikTok has been installed nearly 1.5 billion times since launching in 2017, where the app has surpassed the global downloads of Instagram and Snapchat this year, as according to reports.
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The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has been exploring the move for some time, but “efforts to leave China have accelerated in the past few months as it finds itself in the crosshairs of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).”
Currently, the valuation of ByteDance is $75 billion, which is the world’s most valuable.