President Donald Trump has approved Oracle’s proposed deal to acquire the U.S. assets of TikTok, following a phone call with Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
“I have given the deal my blessing. If they get it done that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too,” Trump told reporters on Saturday, Bloomberg reported. “I approved the deal in concept.”
TikTok Global, the new company that will be created in the transaction between Oracle and TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance, will donate $5 billion to an education fund. Trump said this will satisfy the requirement of a payment to the U.S. government for the proposed deal, which was the subject of his talks with Ellison and McMillon.
Oracle will gain full access to TikTok’s source code, and will roll out updates to ensure that there are no backdoors to gather data and spy on the app’s 100 million users in the U.S., Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, who also said that an initial public offering for TikTok Global is planned to launch in about a year.
Walmart, which was part of a failed bid with partner Microsoft for TikTok’s U.S. assets, remains interested in making an investment, and could possibly receive one seat on TikTok Global’s board, according to one of the sources.
However, for the transaction to push through, it will require approval from the Chinese government, which would reportedly rather see TikTok shut down in the U.S. than agree to Trump’s demand for a sale.
TikTok, along with WeChat, will be banned from U.S. app stores starting Sunday. The video-sharing app will function until November 12, unless Oracle’s proposed acquisition closes before that date.
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