Bosses at computer software giant Oracle have been warned not to interfere with TikTok’s “DNA” after the company has reportedly emerged victorious in the bid for the social media sensation’s US operations, just 24 hours before the deadline.
The sale has been triggered by an executive order from US President Donald Trump, who threatened to shut down the US arm of the company unless owner ByteDance disposed of the business by September 15.
Last month, Trump threw his support behind Oracle buying TikTok and called it a “great company”; Oracle chairman Larry Ellison is one of the few technology tycoons who has been openly supportive of Trump and held a fundraiser for the President in February.
Both Oracle and a partnership between Microsoft and Walmart emerged as front-runners to acquire TikTok’s US operations last month, but, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Oracle will be announced as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in America this week, although it is unlikely to be an outright sale. The deal will need approval from the US and China governments.
US officials have criticised the app’s security and privacy, suggesting user data might be shared with Beijing. TikTok US has refuted these claims, however, and has stressed it would never comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities. Now, Oracle will handle TikTok’s US user data, the WSJ reported.
It is not known how much of TikTok’s US operations ByteDance and its investors will continue to own. Microsoft had admitted over the weekend that its bid had been rejected.
Commenting on the deal, Socialbakers chief executive Yuval Ben-Itzhak said: “The news that Oracle will become a trusted tech partner to TikTok’s US operations certainly looks very promising at a first glance.
“Having Oracle’s expertise in cloud and data technologies at an enterprise scale can certainly support TikTok’s backend needs and phenomenal growth.
“The only risk that such a partnership may present would be if Oracle tries to change TikTok’s DNA into a traditional operation, instead of focusing its efforts on building out the technology infrastructure and leaving the TikTok business to do what it does best, acquire and engage users authentically at scale.”
Last month, it was claimed that the UK Government is planning to impose tough restrictions on how the social media giant handles British consumers’ data, following allegations of links to the Chinese government.
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