Reports: Oracle Wins Bid to Buy TikTok, But China to Veto Sale

Microsoft is out of the bidding process and Oracle is set to buy TikTok. Unfortunately for Oracle, China seems poised to veto the sale.

There’s been a flurry of reports recently over the sale of TikTok. Reports indicate that Microsoft and WalMart won’t be able to purchase the US operations. The winning bid is apparently database developing company, Oracle. From the BBC:

Microsoft and Oracle led the race to buy TikTok from Chinese firm ByteDance.

TikTok is a hugely popular video sharing app – which has been downloaded 2 billion times globally – where people make and upload 15 second clips.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that Oracle, which sells database technology and cloud systems to businesses, had won the bidding war, citing people familiar with the matter.

Earlier reports said Oracle was seriously considering buying TikTok’s businesses in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with investment firms, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital.

A TikTok spokesperson told the BBC the firm was “not commenting on either the Microsoft development nor the Oracle speculation”.

While this seems to offer a preliminary conclusion to this story, there is another twist to this one. As we reported earlier this month, China has revised its technology export rules. Those rules, according to observers, could ultimately affect the sale of TikTok. Now that the sale seems to be a foregone conclusion, it looks like China might be intervening. From Yahoo! news:

What a whirlwind of a Monday morning. Shortly after news broke that Microsoft is out of the picture in bidding for TikTok’s U.S. operations, and rumors began circulating that Oracle is the winner, China’s state broadcaster CGTN reported that ByteDance will not sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft or Oracle, citing sources.

The report from CGTN reports:

ByteDance will not sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft or Oracle, nor will the company give the source code to any U.S. buyers, sources said.

Another bidder for the wildly popular social media platform, Oracle, is reportedly gaining the upper hand as its negotiations for TikTok’s U.S. operations have intensified in recent days, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Oracle is going to be picked as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the U.S., the report said.

However, CGTN Digital has learned from sources that ByteDance will also not sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Oracle.

ByteDance has declined to comment on this matter by press time.

Last month, we reported on impeached president Donald Trump signing an executive order saying that TikTok must be sold to an American company or get banned from the US. How that is possible, let alone illegal, is up in the air. Still, that deadline is September 15th which is tomorrow.

If the Chinese government ultimately veto’s the sale as suggested by state media, then we will start to see what will actually happens with Trump’s executive order taking hold. There is certainly a possibility that nothing will happen after the deadline comes and goes. Still, there is also the possibility that a lot of chaos will happen from the business side of things. At this point, it is speculation to determine what will happen next. After all, so much about this story, even at this late stage in the game, is a giant question mark.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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