Chinese video company TikTok ended discussions over its London headquarters with mounting tensions between the UK and China. The move comes shortly after the United Kingdom announced a ban on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to advance its 5G development in Britain.
Tiktok’s parent company, ByteDance, has been negotiating for months with the Department of International Trade and UK government officials to expand its operations, The Guardian said.
The move could impact 3,000 potential jobs in the UK, compared to 800 already employed.
TikTok will now seek to establish its headquarters in rival cities like Dublin, considered one of the main competitors.
British officials, however, hope to participate in negotiations with the Chinese company again after making it clear through diplomatic channels that Huawei was only banned from the UK after being pressed by the U.S.
A spokesman for ByteDance told The Guardian: “The UK is one of our main markets worldwide, with a talented and diverse team based in London, including senior leadership. British workers have quadrupled in the past year and we expect strong continued 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 states that the Chinese authorities strongly criticized the UK decision and vowed to “take all necessary measures” to protect Chinese companies.
The authorities emphasized that the action seriously undermined the mutual confidence of Chinese companies in the UK market.
Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, suggested that Chinese investments in the UK could be at risk after the UK announced Huawei’s ban.
“In the past 10 years. Chinese investment in the UK has increased 20-fold. This is a great opportunity for the UK. I think the UK really missed the opportunities, ” Liu told The Global Times. He noted that, with a Chinese investment of $ 20 billion, the United Kingdom is the largest recipient of Chinese investments in Europe, citing a transcript published by the embassy.
Huawei was told that geopolitics had played an important role in the UK ban and had the impression that the decision on the ban could be reviewed in the future. Perhaps after the anti-China sentiment in Washington has weakened and depending on the results of the US presidential elections.
The Trump administration has spoken openly about considering a ban on TikTok in China, saying the app is spying on user data.
Referring to a broader geopolitical context, Huawei was banned from the United Kingdom. Shortly thereafter, TikTok stopped talking to locate its London headquarters.
Most important part
- Chinese video company TikTok has suspended negotiations to make London its headquarters.
- The move comes after Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei was banned by the UK.
- TikTok’s decision not to locate its London headquarters could impact 3,000 potential jobs in the UK.