ByteDance says proposal on TikTok still needs China, U.S. approvals

Oracle Will Take Minority Stake In New US-based TikTok Owner: Report

China's opposition to a forced sale of TikTok, as well as concerns by major ByteDance backers such as Sequoia and General Atlantic over the financial hit of selling the popular short-video app in the USA for less than what it is worth, led Zhang to opt for the sale of only a stake to Oracle, rather than an outright divestment, the sources said.

It is a risky strategy.

President Donald Trump has made it clear he wants to see an outright sale of TikTok to a United States technology company, amid concerns by national security officials that United States user data could be passed on to China's Communist Party government.

He has threatened to ban TikTok in the USA as early as 20 September if ByteDance does not comply.

"I'm not prepared to sign off on anything". In order to allay USA concerns about "national security", TikTok's US data will be stored in the US, and Oracle will serve as the data service provider, the sources said. That has been reported but not told to me.

Trump said he expects to be briefed on the proposal on Thursday. "I heard they're very close to a deal". "They're going to be reporting to me tomorrow morning and I'll let you know".

Trump has repeatedly insisted that any sale of TikTok's U.S. operations would have to include a substantial payment to the U.S. But on Wednesday, he told reporters that lawyers told him the U.S. has no authority to require that. "Assuming that ByteDance is China which I think it probably is", Trump said.

Oracle has thrown a wrench in the process: It's seeking a deal in which it would not become TikTok's owner.

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The proposed deal has drawn continuing concerns from national security officials that could sway Trump's decision, people familiar with the deal told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. The president may also have no idea what's going on with the Oracle bid, or that the reported details involve ByteDance retaining majority ownership.

The US government is now evaluating a proposal from ByteDance and Oracle created to resolve the Trump administration's national security concerns about TikTok.

It is unclear whether Trump will approve ByteDance's proposal, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the deliberations are confidential.

The Rubio letter, also signed by Senators Thom Tillis, Rick Scott, John Cornyn, Roger Wicker and Dan Sullivan, is part of a growing chorus of lawmakers raising questions about the deal.

However, Trump may not want to alienate 100 million-odd American TikTok users weeks before a hotly-contested presidential election.

Trump spoke favorably of the Oracle proposal on Tuesday, saying that an agreement is "very close" and praising the company's chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison as someone who has been "a terrific guy for a long time".

On Monday, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who heads a national security panel reviewing the proposal, calling for the deal to be scuttled, if it does not allow for the "full emancipation of TikTok software from potential Chinese Communist Party control".

Meanwhile, China updated its rules for exporting tech last month, giving it a say over transferring TikTok's algorithm to a foreign buyer. Chinese officials have said ByteDance should not be coerced by the United States into a deal.

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