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TikTok snaps up local talent and launches Sydney office

Chinese social video platform TikTok has launched its local office and appointed local general managers to better serve the Australian audience. 

Based in Sydney, the TikTok Australia team will be led by former Google and YouTube executives Lee Hunter and Brett Armstrong. 

Hunter will take up the role of general manager for TikTok Australia, while Armstrong will step up as the general manager of global business solutions. Additionally, Brett Thomas will serve as director for public policy and Arjun Narayan Bettadapur Manjunath as the head of trust and safety for APAC. 

“I’ve been truly inspired watching Australia’s unique and creative spirit shine through on TikTok, especially through this challenging time,” Hunter said.

“I love that TikTok has helped bring Australian communities together when they’ve needed it most, whether it’s having fun at home, sharing how we’re feeling, or expressing ideas and messages that need to be heard.”

Hunter spent over a decade at Google, where he held a multitude of roles including global head of brands for YouTube.

And, according to Armstrong, TikTok Australia already has campaigns underway and the team is excited to grow the business locally. Armstrong formerly served as Google’s country manager for New Zealand, and the head of media agencies for Australia and New Zealand. 

The local team will be overseen by Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok US.

“As we continue to build a positive and safe environment for users, our focus is on hiring the right local talent and strengthening our local leadership team to best support the Australian TikTok community,” Pappas said. 

Over the past 18 month TikTok has hired local teams in the US, UK, India, Japan and Canada, strengthening its global reach. 

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