TikTok said Tuesday that it plans to create 10,000 jobs in the United States over the next three years, a substantial increase from the roughly 1,400 employees it currently has in the country.
The announcement comes as the company faces mounting criticism over its handling of user data and its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance.
“These are good-paying jobs that will help us continue to build a fun and safe experience and protect our community’s privacy,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN on Tuesday.
TikTok said it has already tripled its US workforce this year, and the new jobs will be based in California, Texas, Florida and New York — focusing on areas including sales, content moderation, engineering and customer support. The announcement was first reported by Axios.
The jobs announcement is part of a wider game of defense that TikTok has been playing to meet allegations by policymakers that TikTok poses a national security risk. The move also appears to follow a tried and true playbook for tech companies: when under fire, play up the job creation potential.
Lawmakers including Sens. Chuck Schumer, Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley worry the company’s user data could ultimately find its way to the Chinese government. TikTok has said it stores its US user data domestically and on backups in Singapore, and cybersecurity experts have previously told CNN the national security fears have not been proven by evidence.
The Trump administration has said it is “looking at” banning the popular video app in the US, though it remains unclear how that may play out in practice. On Monday, House lawmakers voted 336-71 to bar TikTok from US government devices. The vote on the proposal took place as part of a vote on a package of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act.
TikTok has taken other steps to distance itself from China. It recently hired an American CEO and confirmed that its parent company is considering a corporate restructuring, including establishing a headquarters for the video app outside of China. In Washington, the company has expanded its policy and lobbying team and has met with roughly 50 congressional offices. TikTok also publishes a weekly policy newsletter that the company said goes out to hundreds of policymakers and their staffs.