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Oracle wins bid for TikTok's US operations: Report

September 14, 2020

China's ByteDance has chosen a consortium led by Oracle to take over TikTok's US business, according to reports. Rival bidder Microsoft has revealed its bid was rejected.

TikTok operations in the US
Image: picture-alliance/Dongxu Fang

Chinese tech company ByteDance has decided to sell its video-sharing app TikTok's US operations to a consortium led by Oracle, reports said on Monday. This comes soon after rival bidder Microsoft announced that its bid had been rejected.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft," Microsoft revealed in a statement late Sunday. "We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests."

Read more: 'Outraged' Chinese want ByteDance to 'put up a fight' over TikTok sale

US President Donald Trump previously announced that he would ban the app in the US starting mid-September, citing concerns over US data being potentially accessed by the Chinese government. He ordered ByteDance to sell all US-based operations to an American company. 

However, TikTok has refuted claims that it is a national-security risk.

Later on Monday, China's state-run English television channel CGTN countered earlier reports, saying ByteDance will not sell TikTok's US operations to Oracle Corp or Microsoft Corp and will not give the source code for the video platform to any US buyers.

ByteDance declined to comment on CGTN's report.

If the proposed deal goes ahead, it will not be an outright sale, according to reports. It will be a restructuring of operations where Oracle will act as ByteDance's tech partner and handle the app's US user data. It remains unclear whether it will be approved by President Trump.

In order for the deal to be completed, it needs approval from both the US and the Chinese government.

kmm, see/sri (Reuters, AP)