Google not buying TikTok, confirms Sundar Pichai


Google not buying TikTok, confirms Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed the news that was doing rounds about the company planning to buy TikTok. He, when asked about the deal, said, “We are not.” Microsoft Corp. and other U.S. technology companies are working on TikTok bids after President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app and ordered its Chinese owner, ByteDance to sell the U.S. part of the business.


In the podcast interview, Pichai confirmed that TikTok pays for Google’s cloud services. He also said TikTok is one of the tech businesses flourishing during the pandemic that is not facing antitrust scrutiny, unlike Google. TikTok faces government restrictions on UK Expansion Drive.


Boris Johnson’s top advisers may impose restrictions on TikTok’s activities in the U.K., but are likely to stop short of blocking plans by the Chinese-owned social media app to set up an international headquarters in London.


The popular video-sharing app, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, is battling critics concerned it could be used by Beijing to spy on foreign nationals. President Donald Trump has ordered ByteDance to sell its U.S. arm on grounds of national security and privacy -- but European politicians have so far resisted similar moves.


ByteDance has rejected claims that it is controlled by the Chinese government, or that user data is at risk.



A spokeswoman for TikTok and a spokesman for Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre both declined to comment. A spokesperson for Johnson’s office said “ByteDance’s decision on the location of their global HQ is a commercial decision for the company.” The Department for Culture Media and Sport did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


“With a flashy campus in the U.K, ByteDance would be free to masquerade as a British equivalent to Facebook or Google, gaining credibility in London,” said Conservative lawmaker Iain Duncan Smith.


The company says it currently stores user data in the U.S. and has a backup data center in Singapore. Earlier this month, TikTok announced plans to build a new site in Dublin where it plans to store European users’ data.


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