ByteDance abandons TikTok US' sale plan; to partner with Oracle
Reuters September 14, 2020
ByteDance abandoned the sale of TikTok in the United States on Sunday in pursuit of a partnership with Oracle Corp it hopes will spare it a U.S. ban while appeasing the Chinese government, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. ByteDance had been in talks to divest TikTok's U.S. business to either Oracle or a consortium led by Microsoft Corp after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the sale last month and threatened to shut down the popular short-video app in the United States if it was not sold.
Those negotiations were upended by China's updating of its export control rules late last month that gave it a say over the transfer of TikTok's algorithm to a foreign buyer. Reuters reported on last week that the Chinese government would rather shut TikTok down in the United States than let it be part of a forced sale.
Under the proposed deal, Oracle will be ByteDance's technology partner and will assume management of TikTok's U.S. user data, the sources said. Oracle is also negotiating taking a stake in the TikTok U.S. assets, the sources added. It is unclear whether Trump, who wants a U.S. technology company to own most of TikTok in the United States, will approve the proposed deal. ByteDance and Oracle did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The White House declined to comment.
Microsoft said earlier on Sunday it was informed by ByteDance that it would not be selling TikTok's U.S. operations to Microsoft.