President Trump approves TikTok deal with Oracle and Walmart, allowing the Chinese app to continue to operate in the U.S.
Just a few days after the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it would ban U.S. business transactions with Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok effective Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, President Trump on Saturday approves TikTok deal with Oracle and Walmart, allowing the Chinese app to operate in the U.S.
The President told reporters on the White House South Lawn before departing for North Carolina. “I have given the deal my blessing — if they get it done that’s great if they don’t that’s okay too,” Trump said. “I approved the deal in concept.” In the meantime, the Department of Commerce said it would delay the prohibition U.S. transactions with TikTok until next Sunday.
As part of the deal, Oracle will become TikTok’s cloud provider and a minority investor with a 12.5% stake.
Walmart has tentatively agreed to a purchase 7.5% stake, and CEO Doug McMillon would serve as one of the five board members of the newly created company. TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance will own the remaining 80% of TikTok, according to a person familiar with the matter.
We don’t really know what this means to the earlier statement from the Department of Commerce. President Trump said Saturday he has approved a deal in principle in which Oracle and Walmart will partner with the viral video-sharing app TikTok in the U.S., allowing the popular app to avoid a shutdown.
The U.S. government has criticized the app’s security and privacy, suggesting that user data might be shared with Beijing. TikTok has said it would not comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities. TikTok has denied that it would hand over data, which it stressed is stored outside China.
“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Friday.