Chinese multinational firm ByteDance has chosen Oracle as its technology partner for video-sharing app TikTok in the United States instead of selling its assets to Microsoft, Reuters reported on Monday, citing unidentified officials.
It is unclear whether the decision would mean that Oracle would also acquire a majority stake in TikTok, The New York Times reported. Both ByteDance and Oracle have refused to comment on the deal.
Oracle will, however, negotiate for a stake in the app’s American operations and take up the management of user data, an official told Reuters. The official added that ByteDance is hoping to evade a ban in the US while appeasing China.
ByteDance will, however, need permission for the deal from the American and Chinese governments. It is unclear whether US President Donald Trump will approve the deal.
Later on Monday, The Voice of America journalist Steve Herman quoted China’s state-run news channel CGTN as saying that there will be no sale of TikTik to Oracle or Microsoft. Herman added that Bytedance is reportedly not going give the source code for the video platform to any US buyer.
In a separate tweet, Herman added that Oracle’s proposal to buy stake in TikTok would be reviewed by Donald Trump’s administration this week. Herman said the announcement was made by US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin on CNBC.
Microsoft had announced on Sunday that ByteDance had rejected its proposal to acquire TikTok. “We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” the technology giant said in a blog post.
It added: “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.”
Last week, Trump had refused to extend the September 15 deadline for ByteDance to sell TikTok’s American assets. He has repeatedly alleged that the app poses a threat to his country’s national security because of Beijing’s influence.
On August 6, Trump had issued executive orders banning transactions with the video app within 45 days if it did not sell off its assets. A week later, he issued another order and gave the company the 90-day ultimatum to close the deal.
TikTok, on the other hand, has consistently denied the allegations and maintained that the company had “taken extraordinary measures” to protect the privacy of its users.
The platform’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer had resigned on August 26, just two months after his appointment. Mayer’s resignation came after Trump claimed the video app could be used to spy on Americans and ordered a crackdown on its parent company.
On August 24, TikTok had filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the executive order to block the app from operating in the country. TikTok alleged that Trump’s August 6 order banning the social media platform with no notice or “opportunity to be heard” violated the US’ Fifth Amendment. The company also accused Trump of using the ban to further his “broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric” ahead of the US presidential elections in November.