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A majority US-owned TikTok Global? ByteDance begs to differ

We, like you, are looking forward to a week when TikTok isn’t our biggest story every day. But the latest developments in the US do require a bit more space for unpicking: unsurprisingly, the company’s deal with Oracle and Walmart has run into a spot of bother.

We reported yesterday that the new TikTok Global entity being created as part of the deal will see ByteDance taking an 80% stake, with 20% split between Oracle and Walmart. Since then, confusion has reigned.

“TikTok Global is a 100% owned subsidiary of Bytedance, headquartered in the United States,” said ByteDance, in a corporate post published in China to explain some “false rumours” about the deal. “TikTok Global plans to launch a small round of Pre-IPO financing. After the financing, TikTok Global will become an 80% holding subsidiary of Bytedance.”

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TikTok US ban postponed as Trump approves Oracle/Walmart deal

It’s been another topsy-turvy weekend in the US for TikTok. On Friday, the Department of Commerce announced that as of 20 September (Sunday) US app stores would be banned from making the app available to download, or for it to be updated for existing users.

Yet on Saturday, the department announced that “in the light of recent positive developments” the ban would be delayed a week until 27 September.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance had filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Trump administration to try to block the ban, but as the ‘positive developments’ quote shows, that wasn’t the reason for the delay.

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TikTok tipped for IPO with Oracle stake… if Trump approves

What’s going on with the TikTok acquisition or investment in the US… is what a lot of TikTok staff around the world are wondering, let alone the wider tech and music industries. The next few days are going to be crucial for the future of TikTok in the US, and there are some developments to report this morning.

CNBC reported yesterday that ByteDance is planning to take TikTok public with an IPO on a US stock exchange, with its new tech partner Oracle taking a “less than 20%” stake in the new company, with US retailer Walmart also taking a stake. The report suggested that the plans are contingent on the approval of President Trump and his administration, with a decision potentially coming later today.

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The latest TikTok twist: plans for a standalone company?

The deadline is approaching for TikTok to be sold, shut down, or find an alternative solution that satisfies President Trump’s administration. After tech firm Oracle said it was part of a proposal submitted to the administration as a “trusted technology provider”, more details have emerged of the plan.

“ByteDance will place TikTok’s global business in a new US-headquartered company with Oracle investing as a minority shareholder,” reported the Financial Times. “As part of the proposal, Oracle will have a stake in the whole of TikTok and not just the US operations.”

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Oracle confirms that it’s part of ByteDance US TikTok proposal

After yesterday’s news that Microsoft’s bid for TikTok’s US business has been rejected, rival suitor Oracle offered an update on its plans. It’s “part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider”.

Note that wording: Oracle is NOT buying TikTok. Instead, if the proposal is accepted, its cloud technology will be put to use to (in the words of TikTok’s separate statement) “resolve the Administration’s security concerns” about how American TikTok users’ data is stored and handled.

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TikTok sale announcement could come as soon as next week

Strap in: the TikTok sale process may be even speedier than President Trump expected. CNBC reported yesterday that TikTok is “nearing an agreement” to sell its operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – as soon as next week.

Its sources claimed that the deal could be worth between $20bn and $30bn, but added that TikTok is still in talks with both Microsoft and Oracle over the potential sale. What’s more, those sources suggested a third US company has also thrown its hat in the ring.

“Walmart has been working with SoftBank on a potential acquisition, but because that offer doesn’t include a cloud technology backbone component, it is likely a nonstarter with the US government,” claimed CNBC.

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Oracle calls Android

Databasing giant Oracle, locked into settlement talks with Google as part of a lawsuit over Google’s Android mobile operating system, has stated that it intends to seek not only royalties but a legal order to cease the distribution of Android.