As the September 15 deadline to complete the deal nears, the high-voltage drama concerning TikTok’s US operations takes a new turn. In a major twist, Chinese technology company ByteDance has refused to sell TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. As a result, the Redmond-based software giant is no longer in the race to acquire TikTok, a controversial short video app. Microsoft has issued a statement confirming the development.
Microsoft forced to back out of the TikTok deal
In its official statement, Microsoft said:
“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.”
Oracle most likely to buy TikTok’s US operations
Now that Microsoft is officially out of the picture, Oracle has emerged as the frontrunner in the ongoing talks with ByteDance to acquire TikTok’s US operations. According to The Wall Street Journal report, Oracle will be announced as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the U.S. This deal will also give a major boost to Oracle’s business as a cloud service provider.
Oracle will serve as the trusted technology partner in ByteDance’s proposal over TikTok’s US operations. Oracle has issued a statement confirming the development:
“Oracle confirms Secretary Mnuchin’s statement that it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider. Oracle has a 40-year track record providing secure, highly performant technology solutions.”
What exactly is for sale?
ByteDance is unlikely to sell or transfer TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, a technology that made TikTok what it is today, with any U.S. buyer, according to an SCMP report. However, TikTok’s US-based technology team would be free to develop and implement a new algorithm. A couple of weeks ago, China updated its technology export control list.
As a result, ByteDance has to comply with Chinese regulation and seek permission from the Chinese government to sell or transfer TikTok’s recommendation algorithm to any offshore company.