The parent company of TikTok has announced plans to open a data centre in India to prevent another ban.
ByteDance has given itself a target of 6-18 months to set up the data centre, and once done will become the first social media company to do so.
In a statement, the company wrote:
“India is one of our strongest markets and we are happy to be part of the mainframe of Digital India in 15 Indian languages. Since the launch of our platforms in India, we have stored the data of our Indian users at industry-leading third-party data centres in the U.S. and Singapore.
“We now believe that the time has come to take the next big leap.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pressuring large social media firms, including Facebook and Google to set up data centres in India, citing the need to protect citizens.
ByteDance will be investing $1 billion over the next three years in India.
“As a testimony to ByteDance’s recognition of India’s efforts to frame a new data protection legislation, we are pleased to announce that we are taking a significant step towards establishing a data centre in India.
“We are now in the process of examining options for safe, secure and reliable services for our Indian users within India’s borders.”
The move follows after the company has come under fire in recent months following concerns about data practices, which led to India briefly banning TikTok in April in regards to exposing young children to inappropriate content including pornography.
Many critics have urged the government to ban TikTok including Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a Hindu nationalist group, who had claimed that Bytedance did not have sufficient data practices.
ByteDance is currently the world’s most valuable startup, with a reported valuation of $75 billion.
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