US President Donald Trump has given his public backing to Oracle’s reported bid to acquire the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations of TikTok.
Earlier this week the FT had reported that Oracle was teaming up with a group of US investors that already own a stake in ByteDance, namely General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, to acquire the TikTok assets.
And now according to the BBC, President Trump in a speech in Yuma, Arizona, said that Oracle would be “a great company” to take over TikTok’s US operations.
This is the second extraordinary intervention of President Trump, after he previously said he would support Microsoft’s acquisition bid, as long as the US government receives a “substantial portion” of the sale price.
Besides Oracle and Microsoft, ByteDance is also reportedly talking with Twitter about a possible sale.
But it is clear ByteDance is holding these talks reluctantly, and it has vowed to sue the US government over an executive order against the company.
Last week President Trump had ordered ByteDance to divest the US operations within 90 days, over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles.
Trump also signed an executive order targeting WeChat owner Tencent.
The orders ban US companies from making deals with the two Chinese firms after a period of 45 days.
Trump has essentially threatened to ban TikTok after 15 September unless its US operations are sold to a domestic US company.
TikTok is reportedly worth tens of billions of dollars.
It is perhaps no surprise that the US President has commented favourably on Oracle’s bid, as billionaire Larry Ellison, who is Oracle’s co-founder and current chairman, is a well known supporter of Trump.
Indeed, Ellison reportedly held a fundraising event for President Trump in February, at his private golf course and estate in California.