Update: Alex Heath, a reporter from the Information tweeted that ByteDance has confirmed that it has submitted a deal proposal from Oracle to the treasure for review.
TikTok/ByteDance confirms it has submitted a deal proposal (Oracle) to the treasury for review. New company statement: pic.twitter.com/CaWRDsfLCN
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) September 14, 2020
Oracle has now taken over Microsoft as favorites to buy short video app TikTok’s US operations.
According to a report from Axios, while Oracle is the likely firm to get the deal, there’s a possibility of no deal taking place as well. South China Morning Post noted that due to China’s new regulations on the export of AI, Oracle might not get the app’s much-lauded recommendation algorithm, even if a deal is struck.
At the moment, it’s not clear if Oracle will own a majority stake in the app or become a technology partner to run its US operations.
Earlier today, Microsoft issued a statement saying that ByteDance has rejected its bid to acquire TikTok:
ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. 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. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.
In August, the Seattle-based tech giant had first expressed its desire to take over the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Shortly after this, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to set a deadline of 45 days — ending September 20 — for any US-based firm to complete a deal for TikTok.
Reports over the weekend suggested that China would rather see TikTok’s US operations shut down than go through a forced sale.
The situation is very complicated, and with time running out, there’s no clear outcome at the movement. Oracle must move rapidly if it wants to complete a deal this week.