The Financial Times reports that under Oracle’s proposal currently under review by various entities within the US government including Treasury and Homeland Security, TikTok is set to become a standalone US company to satisfy White House conditions. The agreement would keep ByteDance as majority shareholding, with Oracle holding a minority stake. This condition would seem to be at odds with Trump’s mandate for TikTok to become an American owned company to satisfy the terms of his executive order designed to protect the privacy and security of the American public.
However, President Trump told reporters today that he heard that Oracle and TikTok are “very close to a deal.” He said that a decision on the pending deal will be made “pretty soon.” He noted that he has “high respect” Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison. Ellison is a well-known supporter of President Trump. The trust that the President has with Ellison is likely key to making this deal happen.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer who has both tech world sources and is friends with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said this today:
I think there’s a deal as soon as today. I think that the review is almost complete. They like Oracle. They don’t feel that Oracle has any ties (to China). I think that they are going to get all of TikTok worldwide. They are going to hire 25,000 people in America. Apparently Secretary Mnuchin is very happy about the security concerns. Oracle CEO Safra Catz is saying we are ready. We have a gigantic cloud presence and we are already doing a lot in advertising. This is going to be today or maybe tomorrow.
There are 55 million users at 79 minutes a day and there are 100 million users per month. It is a prize asset. The reason why the deal is going to be done is because Oracle is a trusted company in the White House. It’s not going to be that Oracle owns it. It is going to be owned by these PE firms, some of it Oracle, and that’s why I think the deal is going to be approved.
The Wall Street Journal tonight is reporting that the deal may actually include a piece of the TikTok globally as well:
China’s ByteDance Ltd. would retain a majority ownership stake in its TikTok app as part of a proposal to be reviewed by national-security regulators on Tuesday with an eye toward settling the high-profile deal by a deadline Sunday, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The proposal includes Oracle Corp. ’s bid to become TikTok’s U.S. technology partner as part of an effort to address the administration’s national-security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned video-sharing app.Source: Wall Street Journal
“We just got this proposal over the weekend it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin yesterday in an impromptu press gathering this afternoon. “It’s going to go through a national security review in the next couple of days and then we’ll be sitting down and reviewing it with the President. But as we’ve said before a condition of any deal is to make sure that we believe that the code is safe, that U.S .citizens personal data is safe, and that the phones are safe. We have a lot of confidence in Oracle so we’ll be reviewing the technical issues with them.”