According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. operations of TikTok have been sold to Oracle pending a security review by the government of the United States. Earlier today Microsoft made a blog post saying their offer for TikTok had been rejected:
ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. 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.via Microsoft Official Blog – 9/13/20
WSJ’s source said that Oracle is set to be announced as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the U.S., and the deal is likely not to be structured as an outright sale. Due to TikTok’s close ties to the Chinese government, President Trump had put pressure on TikTok to sell its U.S. interests as a condition for the app to continue to be available to U.S. citizens.
TikTok’s sale will need the approval of both the United States and communist China before it can be concluded. In recent days, news reports indicated that a sticking point was China’s decision not to allow the sale of TikTok’s underlying coding. It will be interesting to see how Oracle is able to get around this restriction.