Social video platform Tik Tok will open its long-planned European data centre in Ireland early next year, in an investment believed to be worth about €600 million.
The video-sharing service is investing more than initially expected, due to the increased capacity of the centre. It will initially have a capacity of 30 megawatts, ramping to 60 megawatts by the end of 2023.
Tik Tok has signed contracts with a third-party data provider and construction on the site is under way on the Dublin data centre.
The move will allow Tik Tok to store almost all data from UK and European Economic area (EEA) users on servers in the EU, rather than in Singapore or the US, with Tik Tok delivering on a key principle of its data governance strategy.
"Tik Tok's long-standing commitment to our community in Europe is to provide an entertaining and fun platform, with the peace of mind that we are protecting users' privacy and data," Tik Tok Europe's head of privacy Elaine Fox said. "This extensive ramp up in our operations and personnel are tangible steps that show what that commitment to Europe looks like in practice."
Tik Tok originally announced plans to establish the data centre in Ireland in August 2020, but the ongoing pandemic is understood to have delayed matters.
“As a forward-looking company intent on continuing to provide a fulfilling platform for creators and businesses to entertain and realise meaningful opportunities, we believe it is important to provide a localised solution that includes leaning on the expertise of leadership and employees in the region,” Ms Fox wrote.
“Where data transfers outside of the region are required, we rely on approved methods for data being transferred from Europe, such as standard contractual clauses. We also employ a range of complementary technical, contractual and organisational measures so that these transfers are afforded an equivalent level of data protection to that in the UK and EEA. This means in practice that any personal data is protected through a robust set of physical and logical security controls, along with various policies and data access controls for employees.
Ms Fox said the data centre operations illustrate the company’s continued investment in Europe, and cemented the importance of Ireland to its global business operations.
Tik Tok already has a significant Irish presence.Last year the company said it would opens a European cybersecurity centre in Dublin, creating 50 jobs.
In 2020 it grew its trust and safety hub in Dublin, and last November the Chinese-owned company announced plans to add 200 new jobs over three months. It employs more than 1,100 people in the Republic.
“Our work to enhance data governance in Europe and beyond is a continuous process. In addition to our local data storage strategy, we’ll continue to implement more features and controls to safeguard European user data and further minimise data transfers outside the region,” Ms Fox said.
“Our approach reflects our commitment to holding ourselves accountable to our thriving community, while further enhancing the protection of their personal data.”