UPDATE 9/20: We don’t blame you if you’re just as lost and tired of this roller coaster ride as the rest of us. In another turn of events, President Trump has approved the sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart. The deal needs to be formally approved but it would form a new US-based company, TikTok Global which would 20% be owned by Oracle and Walmart. See the announcement from the TikTok side via Twitter.
— TikTok (@tiktok_us) September 19, 2020
UPDATE 9/18: The drama continues. TikTok is still getting bannedin the US starting Sunday, September 20. Alongside WeChat, the Commerce Department will restrict any attempts to distribute or maintain the two apps from app stores. Users who already have the apps can continue to use it but will not be able to get updated versions. You can read the full press release from the Commerce Department here.
Only a few days ago, Walmart and Microsoft were said to have teamed up for a bid for the U.S. operations of the Chinese-owned video-streaming app, TikTok – after being threatened to potentially be banned from the United States altogether. But things move so fast in this game and it seems that ByteDance has rejected Microsoft’s bid to buy the U.S. operations.
A statement released by Microsoft declared that “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.”
But it seems that another contender was more fit for this transaction. Oracle, a multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, seems to have swooped in to close the deal (though we didn’t know they were in the race to begin with).
We are happy to hear that this saga that has dragged on for months now is nearing its end. Oracle won the bidding war, and became TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the U.S. Though their agreement will not function as an outright sale, it will definitely ease tensions with the administration’s concerns for user safety.
The Trump administration put a deadline of September 20 for the operations to be purchased before enacting the national ban, claiming that the app “threatens the national security, foreign policy; and economy of the United States;” to which TikTok responded by announcing plans to sue the Trump administration over the executive order, arguing that there was a “lack of due process.”
We still have to wait and see how this deal will be received by the Beijing headquarters, as it is claimed that they would have preferred for the U.S. operations to be shut down.