ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok based in China, has decided to partner with Oracle Inc for its US operations after rejecting Microsoft’s acquisition offer. The social company had to make a rushed decision as it nears 20th September’s deadline to sell its US operations set by President Donald Trump, who threatened to ban it in the US.
Many people expected an extension in the deadline due to the technical complexities involved in the deal. Still, on Thursday, President Trump maintained that there would not be any change citing it may impair the American national security. He further declared that the app would be banned, or they will sell it.
Although Oracle’s bid is accepted, it is yet to be approved by the White House. However, Trump last month felt positive about the US company saying Oracle can handle TikTok.
On the other hand, with this announcement, it is assumed that ByteDance is not selling TikTok operations in the US; instead, it has decided to join hands with Oracle as a trusted technology partner.
Microsoft turned down by ByteDance
For decades, Microsoft has been one of the US’s major tech houses, and it was considered the favorites to buy off TikTok’s operations. But on Sunday, Microsoft announced that ByteDance has turned down its offer, leaving Oracle the sole bidder left.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users while protecting national security interests,” Microsoft said. It further added, “To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation. We made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
Oracle did not respond to any of these comments, neither has Oracle nor ByteDance made any public statements about the ongoing issue. President Trump has stated in the past that he would support Oracle on buying TikTok’s US operations and called it a “great company.” It is still unclear whether this sale will also bring a major ownership stake to Oracle or not.
TikTok has more than 100 million users in the US – mostly Gen Z, and its business has an estimated worth of $20 billion. There is more to this deal as, under new Chinese Tech-export rules announced a few weeks ago, TikTok can’t share its underlying algorithm. It is apparent that the Chinese government does not want to appear weak in the face of pressure from the US.
Even though the Trump administration fears that TikTok’s private user data is vulnerable to misuse by the Chinese government, ByteDance and TikTok have multiple times denied any data sharing with the Chinese government in the past.
Featured image: Anatoliy Sizov/Getty