President Donald Trump has approved a deal between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle (ORCL), after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app which he claims poses a national security threat because of its Chinese ties.
The department of Commerce confirmed in a statement on Saturday evening, September 19, that it would delay an order to remove TikTok from Apple and Google’s US app stores to September 27, giving the companies more time to finalise the details of the deal.
ByteDance will continue to be majority owner of TikTok under the agreement Trump said he approved, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Speaking with reporters at the White House on Saturday, Trump said he had given his “blessing” to a partnership between TikTok and US firms Oracle and Walmart.
“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.”
The deal will also include Wal-Mart (WMT), Trump said, adding that “the security will be 100 percent. They’ll be using separate clouds and very, very powerful security.”
Reuters reported that the new company, named TikTok Global, will have a majority of US directors, a US chief executive, and a security expert on the board.
Trump said the deal will also include a $5 billion fund for US education, and that TikTok would be incorporated in Texas as a new company.
“They’re going to be setting up a very large fund,” Trump said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for.”
TikTok confirmed in a statement that Oracle and Walmart will together hold up to a 20% share.
“As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied,” TikTok said. “We are currently working with Wal-Mart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global’s headquarters in the US, while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.”
Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a statement: “As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” said Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale, and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world. This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Walmart also confirmed the deal in a statement and revealed that Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon would serve on its five-member board.
“We are excited about our potential investment in and commercial agreements with TikTok Global,” Wal-Mart said in a statement, adding it will also “enter into commercial agreements to provide our ecommerce, fulfillment, payments and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global.”