TikTok expects to be subject to stricter EU online content rules

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows TikTok app logo

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Chinese social media company TikTok is likely to be subject to stricter EU online content rules because its number of active users exceed a threshold set out under the Digital Services Act (DSA), a senior executive at the company said on Wednesday.

The landmark rules take a tougher line on very large online platforms, characterising these as companies with more than 45 million users.

Requirements for such companies include risk management obligations, external and independent auditing, sharing data with authorities and researchers and adopting a code of conduct.

Violations can result in fines of as much as 6% of a company's global turnover.

Online platforms and search engines are due to report their user numbers on Feb. 17, allowing the European Commission to designate which are the very large online platforms and very large online search engines.

"We do expect that our EU user base will meet the quantitative criteria to be considered a very large online platform, but are still waiting for the designation process foreseen by the DSA to understand whether we will be classified as such," Caroline Greer, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, told Reuters.

In 2020, TikTok said its number of users in Europe topped 100 million.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)