ByteDance inks massive data-center deals in US

TikTok’s parent company is expanding in Virginia’s “Data Center Alley”

New York /
Nov.November 02, 2020 12:37 PM
ByteDance founder & CEO Zhang Yiming (Credit: Zheng Shuai/VCG via Getty Images)

ByteDance founder & CEO Zhang Yiming (Credit: Zheng Shuai/VCG via Getty Images)

ByteDance, the parent company of social video platform TikTok, has leased an enormous amount of data-center space in a Virginia corridor known as “Data Center Alley.”

ByteDance was behind three data center transactions in northern Virginia in the first half of 2020, Business Insider reported, citing a person with knowledge of the transactions.

The company’s new 53 megawatts of data center capacity — which is likely to take up hundreds of thousands of square feet in real estate — could accommodate hundreds of thousands of servers for cloud computing and data processing, according to Business Insider.

The data center business is booming as streaming services grow in popularity. Data center real estate investment trusts have flourished during the pandemic, rising on average by about 25 percent, even as the overall REIT market has declined.

With the added capacity, China-based ByteDance is adhering to the federal government’s requirements to store domestic TikTok users’ data in the U.S., Jennifer Cooke, an IDC analyst, told Business Insider.

The Trump administration has been pressuring ByteDance to give U.S. investors a majority share of the company, citing national security concerns. An agreement was made for Oracle and Wal-Mart to take control of the company, but disagreements between the parties have kept the deal from being finalized.

In May, ByteDance inked a lease with the Durst Organization for 232,000 square feet at One Five One in Times Square, in one of the biggest office leases signed during the pandemic. [BI]Akiko Matsuda


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