Trump Raises Questions over the Tik-Tok Oracle Deal

Trump Raises Questions over the Tik-Tok Oracle Deal

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TikTok has had a tough time these last few months. TikTok was first banned by the Indian government. This was followed by the CEO quitting the media giant. TikTok faced Trump’s wrath when Trump released a statement saying that the video-sharing platform will be banned from the US unless bought by a US-based company. After Microsoft wasn’t chosen, the Bytedance-owned TikTok chose Oracle in a bidding war. However, now the situation seems bleak even for Oracle since Trump does not seem to ‘like’ the concept.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, it was stated that if Oracle did buy TikTok then the majority stake in operations will be owned by Bytedance. Oracle will be only a minority stakeholder in this case. Trump has questioned Bytedance’s idea of keeping a majority stake in a ‘trusted technology deal’ with Oracle.

Trump announced in a news conference that he did not like the idea conceptually. He also mentioned that he was not ready to approve or sign off on anything. This was in response to making Oracle just a technology provider. Bytedance submitted its proposal to the Treasury Department during the weekend. Trump also stressed upon the fact that as far as national security goes, it has to be 100% and that he needed to see the deal before making any decision.

Trump’s point of view has created complications in any possible arrangements that could resolve political issues between the U.S and China. He had also mentioned that the government was looking into possibilities that any transaction would involve a payment. However, Trump was surprised when he got to know that Washington wasn’t permitted to demand a payment in exchange for approval of agreements.

Trump’s involvement came after six senators urged the administration to reject the TikTok deal as long as it was connected to Bytedance. They also suggested that the president could block any such proposal. Marco Rubio was one of the first senators to raise a voice in favor of investigating TikTok over censorship issues.

Rubio expressed concern in a letter to Trump about Oracle’s role, the technology it would share, and the future of TikTok’s algorithm. He also mentioned that he would continue opposing any deal that allows entities to control or modify the code or algorithms of TikTok if the entity is based in China or controlled by China. Rubio also expressed that the deal requiring government approval is an encouraging sign. Moreover, he also urged the administration to reject a proposal if it shows any link to Bytedance or other Chinese entities.

Senator Ted Cruz, in a separate letter to Trump, stated that the deal between Oracle and Bytedance failed to meet the objective of the president’s orders and raised serious concerns regarding national security.

The government has set a rigid deadline for TikTok to remain active in the country. If Bytedance fails to announce a plan for sale by September 20, it will stand banned by September 29. Moreover, the deal will have to be finished by November 12.