A deal in which software/cloud company Oracle, and retail giant Walmart will be buying some of the social networking platform TikTok was approved by US President Donald Trump. The president’s approval was required to allow TikTok to continue operating in the United States.
Oracle, a California-based company which has close ties to the White House, is already a minority shareholder of TikTok; but the deal will give the US company control over TikTok’s US-generated data. Other US companies will also become shareholders, including Walmart and several US venture capital firms. TikTok will place its international headquarters in the US and will also install US executives to run the company.
As a blockbuster app, TikTok does not need to worry. Millions of loyal users have made that question irrelevant.
The deal allows ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company, to maintain an 80% share of the business. Even so, this formulation is enough for US regulators to allow TikTok to continue operating in the US. Since most of ByteDance is already owned by American and international investors, adding Walmart and Oracle to the mix ultimately will make TikTok mostly American-owned.
“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump told reporters Saturday. “If they get it done that’s great, if they don’t, that’s fine, too.”