Report: Oracle Is Trying to Acquire TikTok

Larry Ellison's company held preliminary talks with Chinese owner ByteDance and is competing with Microsoft for the video-sharing social network.
Report: Oracle Is Trying to Acquire TikTok
Image credit: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images via PC Mag

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Technology firm Oracle has reportedly entered the race to acquire TikTok's North American operations, The Financial Times reported. Larry Ellison's company held preliminary talks with Chinese owner ByteDance and is "seriously considering" buying the app's business in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, according to unnamed sources.

Oracle may have some competition from Microsoft, which earlier this month confirmed that it met with ByteDance about a possible purchase. Though still in the preliminary stages, any negotiations must be complete before Sept. 15, or TikTok will be banned in the US, Donald Trump said. The president recently signed two executive orders prohibiting companies from doing business with ByteDance and Tencent, which owns messaging service WeChat. A week later, Team Trump joined rival video-sharing social network Triller.

Oracle co-founder and CTO Ellison—the fifth-wealthiest person in the world—is one of the very few people in Silicon Valley to openly support Trump, The Financial Times noted. In February, 76-year-old Ellison held a fundraiser for the sitting president at his estate in California.

Any deal to buy part of TikTok would be complicated, to say the least, requiring the separation of back-end technology from ByteDance. A nationwide ban, meanwhile, wouldn't stop fans from accessing the popular program through a VPN. Oracle, who is reportedly working with venture capital firms General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital to secure a deal, declined PCMag's request for comment.

Over the summer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the US government was looking to ban certain social media apps offered by Chinese companies, including TikTok. The concern is that China will use these popular platforms to spy on international users. The US has not yet offered any proof of this happening.

Now, TikTok is "setting the record straight," addressing rumors and misinformation via a new information hub and Twitter account. "We're taking another step to continue to build trust with our TikTok community by delivering the facts—in our own words and in the words of leading experts across cybersecurity, media, and academia," a company blog post said. "Because we neither support nor stand for the spread of misinformation on our platform, or about our platform."

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