ByteDance said on Monday it is considering relocating its TikTok headquarters, replying to rumors that the company will move its base to London.
The company did not confirm the UK capital as a possible location but hinted the headquarters will not be in the U.S.
“We are indeed exploring the possibility of setting up TikTok headquarters outside the United States,” a TikTok spokesperson told CGTN.
They added: “ByteDance is committed to being a global company. In light of the current situation, ByteDance has been evaluating the possibility of establishing TikTok’s headquarters outside of the U.S., to better serve our global users.”
A UK government spokesperson said the location of the headquarters was the company’s business decision and the UK would provide a fair and open market for investments that support the economic growth and employment in the country.
Britain’s The Sun newspaper earlier reported that TikTok owner ByteDance was planning to move the video-sharing platform’s headquarters to London under a deal approved by British ministers.
The newspaper also said the move was likely to upset U.S. President Donald Trump, who has considered banning TikTok in the U.S.
U.S. technology giant Microsoft said discussions to acquire TikTok were continuing and Trump said he would give the two businesses 45 days to secure a deal, according to a blog on a Microsoft website.
The company has come under pressure from The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to offload TikTok’s U.S. business due to security concerns. But ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming on Monday disagreed with CFIUS’s stance in an internal company letter, insisting it did not have to divest the asset and the company firmly protects the “security of users’ data, the platform’s independence and transparency.”