To say that Bytedance-owned TikTok has had a rough few months would be an understatement. First, the Indian government banned TikTok in India. Then TikTok CEO quit and for a while now US president Donald Trump kept the Chinese tech company on tenterhooks over a potential sale to a US company. Microsoft backed out of a deal to buy TikTok’s US-based operations and it was reported that Oracle was close to sealing. However, now it seems like even the Oracle deal could land in rough water as Trump doesn’t ‘like’ the concept of it.
A report by Bloomberg stated that if Oracle bought TikTok then Bytedance would keep a majority stake in the operations while the US company would be a minority stakeholder. “Well, we’re looking into that,” he said. “From the standpoint of ByteDance we don’t like that. I mean, just conceptually I can tell you I don’t like that. That has not been told to me yet,” Trump said, as per a report by CNBC
The US president also said that deal has to be “100% as far as national security is concerned.” Trump said that the deal does look close but he will have to see it first before signing it off.
The US government has set a tight deadline for TikTok to remain operational in the US. Bytedance must announce a plan for sale in the US by September 20 or it will get banned on September 29. Further, by November 12, the deal would have to be finalised.
Microsoft was in the running before Oracle came in to almost clinch the deal. In a blog post, Microsoft explained why the deal didn’t go in its favour. “ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are 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. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”