ByteDance has selected Oracle as its partner for a deal to keep TikTok operating in the U.S.
The decision comes as ByteDance has rejected a bid by Microsoft that earlier this summer was seen as the likely option for the company as it looked to avoid a shutdown of the popular social media app amid increased tensions between the U.S. and China. Microsoft confirmed that its bid had been rejected in a statement on its corporate blog on Sunday night. “We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” the company wrote. “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. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
Microsoft was seen as the favorite to move forward in negotiations with ByteDance given its deep pockets, which would have helped it address the security concerns that led President Donald Trump to require the business to be sold if it wanted to continue to operate in the U.S. Walmart had planned to team up with Microsoft on the bid but was not mentioned in the company’s statement.
But ByteDance, facing a short timeline to strike a deal, ultimately felt that Oracle — which has curried favor with Trump — was the best partner to address the security concerns that have plagued the app since it first came to the U.S. in 2018. According to the source, Oracle is being brought on board as a tech partner and not as an outright buyer of TikTok’s U.S. business. It’s unclear whether Oracle will acquire a share in TikTok as a result of the partnership.
Representatives for TikTok and ByteDance declined to comment. A spokesperson for Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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