U.S. operations of Chinese social video giant Tik Tok are to be "partnered" with by Oracle, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company's bid prevailed after weeks of speculation and courting by U.S. firms, prompted earlier this summer by Donald Trump's whimsical promise to "ban" Tik Tok over security concerns. The deal is being described not as a sale but as a "partnership" in hopes of appeasing both the White House and the Chinese government, which has signaled it would not allow a full acquisition.
A bid from Microsoft was rejected, according to the Journal.
Oracle, which specializes in enterprise software, offers no significant consumer products or services, making its interest in the wildly popular but definitively unnerdly video site something of a headscratcher. Oracle's co-founder and executive chairman, Larry Ellison, is one of Trump's few supporters in the tech business—and his richest.
Reuters describes the unusual deal.
Under the proposed deal, Oracle will be ByteDance's technology partner and will assume management of TikTok's U.S. user data, the sources said. Oracle is also negotiating taking a stake in TikTok's U.S. assets, the sources added.
It is unclear whether Trump, who wants a U.S. technology company to own most of TikTok in the United States, will approve the proposed deal. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks, is overseeing the talks between ByteDance and Oracle.