Oracle Buys TikTok's US Operations
Even though Microsoft was tipped to buy TikTok's US operations, Oracle beat them to secure a deal covering the US operations of ByteDance’s social media service. According to The Wall Street Journal, the US and Chinese companies arranged more of a partnership than an outright sale.
The deal does not involve the exchange of significant assets and it was unclear if AI software is included, WSJ stated in an article. At the same time, South China Morning Post reported ByteDance decided not to sell or transfer TikTok algorithms.
Chinese government recently imposed new export restrictions on AI technologies which require ByteDance to secure a licence before closing a transaction. As part of the Oracle agreement, some of ByteDance’s existing investors, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, will receive stakes in the new partnership.
Oracle’s move will require approval from the White House and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, though it appears to address the data security concerns. Microsoft emerged as an early contender to secure a deal covering TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which ByteDance reportedly priced at between $25 billion and $30 billion. But ByteDance informed Microsoft it would not be proceeding with a sale.