White House Reviewing Oracle TikTok Deal

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The White House. Image credit: US government

Trump administration says it is reviewing TikTok’s ‘technology partner’ deal with Oracle, and its Trump supporter Larry Ellison

The White House has confirmed it is reviewing TikTok’s ‘technology partner’ deal with Oracle.

It comes after US president Donald Trump had set a deadline of 15 September for ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok’s US operations.

The executive order against TikTok (and WeChat owner Tencent) was because the US believes they pose a national security risk because the app collects data on users, which “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

Oracle deal

The US President effectively banned TikTok unless its US operations were sold to a domestic company by that date.

President Trump has also previously said he expects the United States to get a “very large percentage” of the sale price.

Microsoft, which had been in the running to purchase TikTok’s US arm along with Walmart, confirmed on Sunday that the negotiations had ended without a deal.

But now TikTok has submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department which it believes would resolve the administration’s security concerns.

It did not name Oracle per se, but the database giant confirmed it had been chosen as TikTok’s “trusted technology partner” by its Chinese parent, ByteDance.

White House review

But on Tuesday White House adviser Jared Kushner told CNBC that the deal is being reviewed.

During the interview Kushner said he was not aware of whether any company relationships with the president influenced the deal.

This came when Kushner was asked by CNBC if the move to Oracle instead of Microsoft was influenced by President Donald Trump’s relationships.

“Not as far as I know,” he replied. “Ultimately, it was up to the companies to choose who they wanted to consummate a transaction with.”

Questions remain

However there may be questions about the deal, especially considering that in August President Trump gave his public backing to Oracle’s bid.

President Trump in a speech in Yuma, Arizona, said that Oracle would be “a great company” to take over TikTok’s US operations.

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.

That said it is clear that ByteDance did this reluctantly, and it has vowed to sue the US government over an executive order against the company.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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