Trump Gives Oracle-Walmart Deal for TikTok 'Preliminary Approval'
The Commerce Department pushes the deadline for app stores to remove the TikTok app from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27 as final details are hashed out.
TikTok fans have at least another week to download the app in the U.S.
Oracle said Saturday it will take a 12.5 percent stake in TikTok Global, and TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud. "We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok's American users, and users throughout the world," Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a statement.
Oracle will be "responsible for hosting all U.S. user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied," TikTok says.
TikTok says it's also "working with Walmart on a commercial partnership," which Walmart says will help it "grow our third-party marketplace, fulfillment and advertising businesses." Walmart has also "tentatively agreed to purchase" 7.5 percent of TikTok Global, while Walmart CEO Doug McMillon will serve as one of five TikTok Global board members.
The Commerce Department says the news is a "positive" development, so it will refrain from requiring U.S. app stores to remove TikTok until Sept. 27. The deadline was previously Sept. 20. Presumably if the Oracle-Walmart deal gets the final go-ahead, it won't be removed at all.
During a rally in North Carolina tonight, President Trump said he gave the deal "preliminary approval." The Treasury Department says it's "subject to a closing with Oracle and Walmart and necessary documentation and conditions to be approved by CFIUS," the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
At the rally, Trump called Oracle-Walmart "an incredible combination" and said he requested $5 billion for a fund "for education so we can educate people as to [the] real history of our country; the real history, not the fake history."
"My only problem is they did it so fast, I should've asked for more," Trump said. The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the fund.
Trump made this demand when Microsoft was still in the running, likening it to a landlord-tenant relationship. "I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States. Because we're making it possible for this deal to happen," Trump said last month.
During a Wednesday press conference, however, Trump said White House lawyers had told him that wasn't possible. "Amazingly, I find that you're not allowed to do that...there's no legal path to doing that. [But] we're looking into that right now."
In a video message, Vanessa Pappas, interim head of TikTok, thanked users for sticking with the app in recent weeks. "We are here for the long run," she says.
China's ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has been looking to sell the popular video-sharing app because Trump has threatened to ban the product in the U.S. amid concerns about a Chinese-based company having access to U.S. user data.
Editors' Note: This story was updated at 10:05 p.m. ET with comment from Walmart.
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