TikTok to invest €12bn in Europe over the next decade

1 Dec 2023

Image: © Rey/Stock.adobe.com

The first phase of data centre operations at the Norway site has now commenced as part of Project Clover.

TikTok plans to invest more than €12bn in Europe over the next decade to deliver Project Clover, the platform’s attempt to update its data security practices across Europe.

Part of that commitment involves storing the data of more than 150m monthly TikTok users in Europe locally across three data centres – two in Dublin and one in the Hamar region of Norway.

Theo Bertram, vice-president of public policy at TikTok, said in an announcement yesterday (30 November) that the first phase of data centre operations in Norway has kicked off, with the first of three buildings at the site handed over this week.

“Each of these buildings will ultimately store European TikTok user data,” he said. “We will now begin installing and testing servers in this first building, with the goal of commencing user data migration by next summer.”

The other two buildings at the Norway site are expected to be handed over in the second half of 2024, with data migration set to commence towards the end of the year. “When complete, this will be the largest data centre in Europe,” Bertram added.

TikTok’s first data centre in Ireland became operational in September.

As well as for the data centre operations, the €12bn will also be used to pay a third party for security services, and for the implementation of privacy enhancing technologies in Europe.

“With such a thriving user base and over 5,000 people working on TikTok across the region, Europe is of critical importance to our platform,” said Bertram.

“Our long-term investment in advanced technologies, industry-leading partnerships and people will continue as part of our ongoing focus on protecting the security of our community and their data.”

In October, TikTok informed its Dublin staff that some teams will gradually begin moving to the new Sorting Office building from this month.

Meanwhile, TikTok has been facing increasing regulatory pressure from both sides of the Atlantic, including a recent ban in New York City on government devices. A similar move was made by the state of Montana, but that has now been blocked by a judge who said it would be a violation of people’s right to free speech.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic