It was a surprise bidder in the race for TikTok’s US operations, but enterprise-software maker Oracle has apparently managed to court the popular video-sharing app, which is currently owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance.
TikTok has allegedly chosen California-based Oracle as its “technology partner” in a proposal to the White House, which would allow ByteDance to keep ownership of the app, while transferring data management to the US-owned Oracle, according to a report today from The Washington Post.
Details of the deal have come from anonymous sources, though they allege the proposal could also include moving ByteDance’s headquarters outside of China. It’s suggested this is to address the US government’s national security concerns, so ByteDance would not be legally bound by Chinese law.
The news effectively puts an end to Microsoft’s bid for TikTok’s US operations, with the tech giant confirming as much on its blog on Sunday, September 13.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” read Microsoft’s statement on the matter.
“To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.”
Microsoft was considered a front-runner to secure the acquisition, after US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that appeared to ban Americans from any “transactions” on the Chinese-owned app.
Oracle’s purported success in the ByteDance deal has been labelled a surprise outcome, however Oracle’s co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison is connected to the president, and Trump also previously stated that he supported the company in its pursuit of TikTok’s US operations.
Neither ByteDance or Oracle have released an official statement on the matter.