TikTok: ByteDance ‘to partner with Oracle’ in US after rejecting Microsoft bid

TikTok: ByteDance ‘to partner with Oracle’ in US after rejecting Microsoft bid

  • Oracle reported to be ‘technology partner’ after Donald Trump set a 15 September deadline for US businesses to stop dealing with Bytedance

Bytedance will not sell TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft, the US tech-giant said in a statement, with reports it has instead picked a consortium led by Oracle as a “technology partner”.

ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok’s US business since Donald Trump threatened last month to ban the service if it was not sold. The president’s executive order in August gave Americans until 15 September to stop doing business with the video platform’s Chinese parent company ByteDance, or it would be shut down in the US. It effectively set a deadline for a potential pressured sale of part of the tech company to an American bidder.

The Washington Post reported that Oracle had been chosen by ByteDance as a ‘“technology partner” to allay US concerns, and Reuters quoted a source as saying it would be a restructuring rather than a sale, with Oracle handling TikTok’s US user data. The source did not disclose how much of TikTok’s US operations ByteDance and its investors would continue to own.

ByteDance will need approval for the deal from both Washington and Beijing. It is not clear whether Trump, who wants a US technology company to own most of TikTok in the United States, will approve the proposal.

ByteDance and Oracle did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The White House declined to comment.

Microsoft said on its blog on Sunday that it Byte Dance would not sell it TikTok’s US operations, despite the company being “confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests”.

“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, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.”

Retail giant Walmart, which had been participating in negotiations with Microsoft, still had an interest in a TikTok investment, and was still in discussions with ByteDance leadership and other parties, Reuters reported.

“We know that any approved deal must satisfy all regulatory and national security concerns,” Walmart said.