TikTok 'shelves plans to build global headquarters in UK'

19 July 2020, 12:53

File photo: The TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone
File photo: The TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Chinese social media giant TikTok has reportedly shelved plans to build a global headquarters in the UK.

TikTok's parent company ByteDance had been in discussions with officials from the Department for International Trade and No 10 to establish a base in Britain, creating 3,000 jobs.

But The Sunday Times reported that the company has suspended those negotiations due to the "wider geopolitical context".

It comes amid increasing tensions between London and Beijing, stemming from the UK Government's criticism of the Hong Kong security law and the recent decision to ban Huawei from the country's 5G network.

An unnamed source reportedly told the paper that the plans could be revived should relations between China and the UK improve, however they added a decision would not be coming "any time soon".

A statement from TikTok issued to the paper said: "We remain fully committed to investing in London and inspiring creativity and bringing joy to our users around the world."

Meanwhile a Government spokesperson said: "ByteDance's decision on the location of their global HQ is a commercial decision for the company.

"The UK is a fair and open market for investment where it supports UK growth and jobs."