Computer software company Oracle could be in the running to acquire the US part of video sharing mobile app TikTok, according to the Financial Times.
The publication cited a source close to the matter, who said that Oracle was in preliminary talks with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance concerning its operations in the United States as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order to ByteDance requiring it to sell TikTok’s US operations within 90 days on the grounds that its data collection “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information” and due to the alleged censoring of content.
This follows the announcement of the new Clean Network Program in the US, the Trump Administration’s “comprehensive approach to safeguarding the nation’s assets including citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.”
As well as TikTok, the programme has also focussed on other Chinese companies including Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom and Tencent.
Microsoft has publicly expressed an interest in the app, along with Twitter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft is also interested in acquiring Tiktok’s European, Indian, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian operations, according to the Financial Times. However, ByteDance is reportedly not looking to sell its European or Indian assets.
Although it is not yet clear how much TikTok could sell for, Bytedance was named the world’s most valuable startup in 2018 and TikTok has reportedly been downloaded over 175 million times in the US, so any deal will undoubtedly come with a large pricetag.
Oracle’s co-founder and executive chairman, billionaire Larry Ellison, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump earlier this year.