MYNORTHWEST NEWS

TikTok expands office presence in Bellevue despite looming ban

Jun 25, 2024, 9:21 AM

tiktok...

The TikTok logo is displayed outside TikTok offices on March 12, 2024 in Culver City, California. (Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images)

(Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images)

Despite a nationwide ban looming over the company, TikTok continues to expand its footprint in the U.S. by acquiring new office space in Bellevue.

TikTok, owned by the Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, will occupy seven floors at Lincoln Square North Tower, an office building where it already had 132,000 square feet across six floors. The social media company obtained its first set of space at Lincoln Square earlier this year, according to The Puget Sound Business Journal, but this new acquisition will net TikTok an additional 150,000 square feet within the tower.

Colleen O’Brien: Who’s afraid of little old TikTok?

ByteDance expanded its presence in another Bellevue building in the first half of 2024 as well when it leased 45,000 additional square feet at Key Center. ByteDance was already using 110,000 square feet for its subsidiaries before expanding within the business center.

The Lincoln Square North Tower space — located at 700 Bellevue Way NE — was previously occupied by Microsoft, which left the business office in Dec. 2023.

This new lease will make room for approximately one thousand employees, another sign of the company’s rapid growth in the region. TikTok has an estimated 170 million regular users in the U.S.

TikTok ban in the U.S.

American government officials have expressed their concern that the company’s Chinese ownership creates a national security risk, arguing it could allow the Chinese Communist Party access to the personal information of millions of Americans, according to The Associated Press, while, at the same time, allowing Beijing to exercise control over its messaging to younger, more susceptible users.

More on a nationwide ban: House passes a bill that could lead to a TikTok ban if Chinese owner refuses to sell

In a bipartisan decision, President Joe Biden signed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act — stating that ByteDance has until January 19, 2025 to either sell TikTok to a non-Chinese company or cease operations within the U.S.

The social media giant has since fought back, claiming the newly-signed law is an “unprecedented violation” of the right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

“Never before has Congress expressly singled out and shut down a specific speech forum,” Tiktok’s complaint stated, obtained by Bloomberg. “Never before has Congress silenced so much speech in a single act.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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