TikTok to spend 'billions of dollars' on SG, reportedly sells US ops to Oracle

TikTok's owner, ByteDance is reportedly priming Singapore as the main foothold for Asia as part of its global expansion, reported Bloomberg. ByteDance seeks to spend "several billion dollars and add hundreds of jobs" over the next three years in Singapore, the report said, adding that the company is looking to potentially unveil a data centre in the city state too.

According to ByteDance's job referral site, it currently has more than 200 job openings in Singapore, ranging from data analytics and eCommerce, to UX, logistics, brand partnership, ad integrity and content. Over the last six months, the company has also been filling roles such as head of business marketing Southeast Asia, SMB product marketing lead, channel manager, chief of staff, amongst others a quick check by Marketing on LinkedIn found. These roles are largely based out of Singapore. 

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Meanwhile to attain more ad business traction in the region, TikTok also created a "Back to Business" ad credit programme comprising US$100 million in ad credits for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) globally to use on their journey to rebuilding the brand. According to TikTok, the ad credit is for qualifying businesses in the following regions - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, US, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, India, Australia, Russia, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, and Japan.

The news comes right before the media reports surfaced on Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Bloomberg to have sold its TikTok US operations to Oracle, edging out Microsoft. Oracle threw its hat into the ring shortly after Microsoft did. During Microsoft's discussions with TikTok, the company said the acquisition would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the US. "To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the US, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred," it said. Marketing has reached out to TikTok for comment on its Singapore operations as well as the sale to Oracle.

News of TikTok selling its US operations first broke when US president Donald Trump contemplated banning the app in the country in July over data privacy concerns. Trump also said that he would sign an executive order as soon as 1 August to ban the app. Meanwhile, White House adviser Peter Navarro previously quoted the president saying that he is expected to take "strong action" on Chinese-owned social media apps for "engaging in information warfare", South China Morning Post reported.

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