Microsoft loses, Oracle wins bid to acquire TikTok

ByteDance and Oracle will partner on a business deal in the United States, an agreement meant to satisfy the Trump administration’s national security concerns about popular short-form video app, TikTok. The news comes after weeks of speculation about the Chinese app’s future in the United States. Trump has demanded the app be banned in the United States.

The agreement with Oracle comes days before a ban on TikTok in the United States was scheduled to go into effect. After September 20, the Commerce Department is expected to clarify which types of business dealings involving TikTok will be prohibited in the country, according to an executive order Trump signed August 6.

It’s not clear whether TikTok’s partnership with Oracle will allow the short-form video app to avert that ban. The scope and language of the order, along with Trump’s own remarks about TikTok, have led to confusion about how a ban would be implemented. In another executive order, Trump said TikTok had until November 12 to find a buyer.

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The exact specifics of the agreement between TikTok and Oracle remains unclear, but it was not described as an outright sale. The news about Oracle came just after Microsoft lost it’s bid to buy TikTok’s US operations from ByteDance.

In a statement, Oracle confirmed it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department in which it will serve as the “trusted technology provider.” ByteDance has not responded to a request for comment. TikTok declined to comment.

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TikTok has exploded in popularity in the United States and other western countries, becoming the first Chinese social media platform to gain significant traction with users outside of its home country.

It was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year, with more quarterly downloads than any other app in history.