Oracle confirms deal to become TikTok’s ‘technology provider’ in US

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Software giant Oracle confirmed Monday that it has reached a deal with TikTok parent ByteDance to become the Chinese firm’s “trusted technology provider” in the US.

The California-based company said Beijing-based ByteDance had submitted the proposed deal to the US Treasury Department over the weekend as it faced a Sept. 20 deadline to dump TikTok’s American operations.

“Oracle has a 40-year track record providing secure, highly performant technology,” the firm said in a two-sentence statement Monday morning after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed that Trump administration officials would review the proposal this week.

Oracle did not elaborate on its role as a technology partner or disclose any other terms of the deal. But Mnuchin told CNBC that it included “many representations” from Oracle to address US officials’ national security concerns, which include fears that Americans’ user data could be shared with the Chinese government. TikTok has denied those allegations.

The deal would also create a separate US-headquartered company called “TikTok Global” with 20,000 jobs, Mnuchin said.

“They’ve chosen Oracle, we’ll be reviewing it with their technical teams and our technical teams to see if they can make the representations that we need,” Mnuchin told CNBC.

The deal will be examined by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — a panel that reviews foreign business deals in the US — which will then make a recommendation to President Trump, according to Mnuchin.

But Mnuchin did not say whether the transaction would bring TikTok’s signature algorithm — which feeds users short videos based on their preferences to keep them hooked — into the US. News reports out of China have indicated that ByteDance would not include the algorithm in any sale or divestment deal.

ByteDance chose Oracle over Microsoft, which was the first to publicly reveal its interest in buying TikTok after President Trump threatened to ban the popular video-sharing app in July.

Trump expressed support for Oracle’s bid last month, calling it a “great company” that “could handle it.” Oracle co-founder and chairman Larry Ellison hosted a Trump campaign fundraiser at his California estate in February, and CEO Safra Catz reportedly worked on the president’s White House transition team.

A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine

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