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Tiktok suspends talks on placing headquarters in London after British ban on Huawei

Citing a wider geopolitical context, Huawei was banned from the UK. Shortly after this, TikTok suspended talks to place its headquarters in London.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 20, 2020 | Updated 13:03 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Chinese video making company TikTok has suspended talks on making London its headquarter.
  • The move comes after Chinese telecom giant Huawei was banned by the UK.
  • TikTok's decision of not placing headquarters in London could affect 3000 potential jobs in the UK.

Chinese video making company TikTok has stopped discussions on placing its headquarters in London with rising tensions between the UK and China. The move comes shortly after the UK announced a ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei to further its 5G development in Britain.

ByteDance, Tiktok's parent company, had spent months in negotiations with the Department for International Trade and UK government officials to expand operations, The Guardian stated.

The move could affect 3000 potential jobs in the UK as against the 800 who were already employed.

TikTok will now look at placing its headquarters in rival cities like Dublin which is seen as a leading contender.

UK officials are however hopeful to rejoin talks with the Chinese company after making clear in the diplomatic channels that Huawei was banned from the UK only after facing pressure from the US.

A ByteDance spokesman told The Guardian: "The UK is one of our most important markets globally, with a talented and diverse team in London, including senior leadership. UK employees have quadrupled over the last year and we expect continued strong growth.

"We remain fully committed to investing in London and inspiring creativity and bringing joy to our users around the world through our products and platforms," he added.

A report by The Global Times stated that Chinese officials have harshly criticised the UK's decision and vowed to take "all necessary measures" to protect Chinese businesses.

The officials have stressed that the move has seriously undermined mutual trust and Chinese businesses' confidence in the UK market.

Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming hinted that Chinese investments into the UK could be at risk after the UK announced the Huawei ban.

"In the past 10 years. Chinese investment in the UK increased 20 timesThis is a big opportunity for the UK. I think the UK really missed the opportunities," Liu told The Global Times. He noted that with a $20 billion Chinese investment, the UK is the largest recipient of Chinese investment in Europe, citing a transcript published by the embassy.

Huawei was told that geopolitics had played a part in its ban from the UK, and was given the impression that maybe the decision of its ban could be revisited in the future. Perhaps, after the anti-China sentiment in Washington is eased and depending on the results of Presidential elections in the US.

The Trump administration has openly spoken about considering a TikTok ban in China saying that the app spies on user details.

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