China's ByteDance has picked a consortium led by Oracle Corp. for a deal for the U.S. operations of short-video app TikTok, beating out rival bidder Microsoft Corp, a person familiar with the matter on Sunday. ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok's U.S. business since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened last month to ban the service if it was not sold. The deal will be structured not as a sale but as a restructuring, the source said, without disclosing how much of TikTok's U.S. operations ByteDance and its investors will continue to own. Oracle will be ByteDance's technology partner and will handle TikTok's U.S. user data, the source added. ByteDance will need approval for the deal from governments of the United States and China.
A new proposal submitted by tech company ByteDance would feature software giant Oracle as a "trusted technology partner." During an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the department received a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as a partner, with the company "making many representations for national security issues." Mnuchin said a critical factor in getting a deal done is making sure the technology is safe for users in the U.S. under the proposal. "We'll be reviewing it with their technical teams and our technical teams to see if they can make the representations that we need," said Mnuchin. Oracle and TikTok confirmed the proposal mentioned by Mnuchin to USA TODAY.
Microsoft is officially out of the running to buy TikTok. The company issued a brief statement on Sunday confirming that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, rejected its offer to buy TikTok's US operations. Meanwhile, ByteDance seems poised to announce a deal with Oracle, the only other known US company left in the bidding war. "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."
Oracle has beat out Microsoft to win the bid for TikTok's U.S. operations, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The B2B database software company isn't exactly the first name you think of when you think "meme-filled video sharing app for teens," but we're all extending ourselves a bit more these days. Microsoft announced that TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance rejected its proposal to buy the popular app in a very brief, slightly sassy blog post on Sunday. "[W]e 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," wrote Microsoft. "We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas."