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Oracle Apparent Successful Suitor for TikTok, But Chinese Media Claims No Sale

Oracle Apparent Successful Suitor for TikTok, But Chinese Media Claims No Sale

The long-running TikTok saga may be coming to an end, but an actual sale may not be the resolution to the issue. Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it was out of the running, saying it wasn’t of its own volition.

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.

Microsoft had been expected to be the likely buyer for the Chinese-based short video platform. However, the sale was first thrown into doubt last month, when the Chinese government enacted new rules that potentially outlawed the sale of TikTok to a U.S. firm.

In addition, a vague CNBC report indicated the ByteDance was in discussions with the White House over options that might allow it to avoid a forced sale of TikTok.

A Wall Street Journal report indicates that Oracle will be the US TikTok partner.

Oracle won the bidding for the U.S. operations of the video-sharing app TikTok, people familiar with the matter said, beating out Microsoft in a high-profile deal to salvage a social-media sensation that has been caught in the middle of a geopolitical standoff.

Oracle is set to be announced as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the U.S., and the deal is likely not to be structured as an outright sale, the people said

[…]

The structure of Oracle’s deal wasn’t immediately known, including whether it includes transfer of the algorithms.

Two people familiar with the Oracle deal said it was more appropriate to call it a partnership, rather than an acquisition, suggesting that there wasn’t an exchange of significant assets. At least some of ByteDance’s existing

However, China’s state-run English TV channel claims that there will be no sale with any U.S. buyer (via Reuters).

ByteDance will not sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Oracle Corp ORCL.N or Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and will not give the source code for the video platform to any U.S. buyers, China’s state-run English television channel CGTN reported on Monday, citing sources.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that ByteDance abandoned the sale of TikTok in the United States and decided to pursue a partnership with Oracle in hopes of avoiding a U.S. ban while appeasing the Chinese government.

ByteDance declined to comment on CGTN’s report.

Stay tuned.

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