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Politics TikTok: Trump approves Oracle deal but big questions remain

15:41  21 september  2020
15:41  21 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Oracle, TikTok, and the Trump administration have reportedly 'tentatively' reached a deal. Here's everything we know about the partnership that could save TikTok from Trump's threats of a US ban.

  Oracle, TikTok, and the Trump administration have reportedly 'tentatively' reached a deal. Here's everything we know about the partnership that could save TikTok from Trump's threats of a US ban. Many details of the deal are still unknown, but it appears to satisfy some of the US government's national security concerns while making few changes.Oracle, best known as the leading provider of database software and a $187 billion tech titan in its own right, is the unlikely and unexpected partner the Beijing-based ByteDance has chosen to resolve the matter. But the company emerged as the winner this weekend, after Microsoft confirmed Sunday that its bid for TikTok was turned down.

Who controls TikTok ? Is the social media platform safe? Has a US ban been averted for good?

The Trump administration has been reviewing a deal between Oracle , Walmart and ByteDance, TikTok ’s Chinese owner, to see if it assuages national security concerns.Credit Nicolas Asfouri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

Who controls TikTok? Is the social media platform safe? Has a US ban been averted for good?

a hand holding a cellphone © Shutterstock

President Donald Trump's attempts to force a quick sale of popular Chinese-owned video app TikTok produced a tentative deal over the weekend that would see Oracle and Walmart take a minority stake in a new US company that will operate TikTok.

The US Department of Commerce pushed back a threatened ban on US downloads of the app by one week, to the end of the day on September 27. But as the companies race to finalize the proposal, crucial questions over data security, national interest and the deal's structure remain unanswered.

Kevin Systrom probably won’t take over TikTok, but it’s fun to dream

  Kevin Systrom probably won’t take over TikTok, but it’s fun to dream Instagram’s former CEO reportedly held preliminary talks to become TikTok’s CEOLet’s take a look at the latest.

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump gave his blessing to Oracle Corp.’s bid for the American operations of TikTok , putting the popular video-sharing app on course to escape a U.S. ban imposed as part of his pressure campaign against China.“I approved the deal in concept,” Trump told reporters Saturday as

US President Donald Trump has expressed his approval of a deal that would allow Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok to continue operating in the US. Mr Trump told reporters he had given his "blessing" to a partnership between TikTok and US firms Oracle and Walmart.

a person standing in front of a brick building: A woman walks past the headquarters of ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of video app TikTok. © Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images A woman walks past the headquarters of ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of video app TikTok.

What is clear is that the fight over TikTok is bigger than who owns an app popular with Generation Z. It's also about the future of US-China relations, and the rough new terrain businesses are forced to navigate as tensions between the world's two biggest economies ramp up.

Deal confusion

Trump has for weeks threatened to ban TikTok, which is owned by China's ByteDance, on national security grounds unless an American company takes control of its US operations. TikTok has roughly 100 million users in the United States, and Trump claims the app gives Beijing access to the personal data of Americans.

What we know about Trump’s ‘ban’ on TikTok and WeChat

  What we know about Trump’s ‘ban’ on TikTok and WeChat When the Department of Commerce said Friday that it would soon bar all new downloads of WeChat and TikTok from US App Stores, it marked the latest escalation in the weeks-long saga over TikTok’s future in America. The drama has been playing out since early August, when Donald Trump first said he intended to ban the app if it didn’t sell its US operation to an American company. But there are still many unanswered questions and a total ban of the app is far from guaranteed. Here’s what we know about where things stand — for now. A U.S. flag is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed Tik Tok and WeChat logos in this illustration taken September 18, 2020.

The Oracle - TikTok deal has been given the green light from President Donald Trump , potentially averting an App store ban in the U.S. It’s the And did all of those issues be addressed in this deal that Donald Trump as you just heard has approved in concept. Well they have another week or so

Just as we thought the TikTok saga might finally be coming to an end, ByteDance has contradicted two claims made by Trump about the Oracle deal … President Trump approved the deal over the weekend, claiming that the US subsidiary would be majority-owned by US investors

a cellphone screenshot of a cell phone: Tencent's WeChat has also been targeted by the Trump administration. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Tencent's WeChat has also been targeted by the Trump administration.

TikTok has denied those allegations. The company has said its data centers are located entirely outside of China and that none of that data is subject to Chinese law.

Over the weekend, Trump gave his blessing to a deal that would give Oracle and Walmart a combined 20% stake in a new company called TikTok Global, which would be headquartered in the United States and operate the app. Four of the company's five board members would be Americans, Oracle and Walmart said in a joint statement.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said he approved the deal "in concept."

"I have given the deal my blessing," Trump said. "If they get it done, that's great. If they don't, that's okay, too."

Trump approves TikTok-Oracle deal, he says

  Trump approves TikTok-Oracle deal, he says US President Donald Trump says he's approved the agreement "in concept," according to a report. The deal would create a company called TikTok Global, and China's government would also need to sign off.The Trump administration has said it's concerned about the TikTok app because the app collects data on its US users and TikTok's parent company, ByteDance -- a Chinese firm -- could be compelled by China's communist government to share that information. TikTok has repeatedly said such concerns are baseless.

Watch: The Oracle - TikTok deal has been given the green light from President Donald Trump , potentially averting an app store ban in the U.S. “And the administration had not given any indication that they see a scenario where they spare that app. The big question then becomes: who is next?”

President Donald Trump approved a deal Saturday that will allow TikTok to continue operating in the United States, a decision that comes after The deal will make Oracle , a California-based software and cloud company close to Trump 's administration, a minority shareholder in TikTok and give it

But the deal stops well short of the full sale of TikTok that Trump originally wanted, and its structure contradicts his claim on Saturday that the app will be "totally controlled" by Walmart and Oracle. ByteDance would own 80% of TikTok Global, the Chinese company said in a statement on Monday.

Oracle said it would host data pertaining to American users on its cloud platform. ByteDance said in a statement that Oracle would be able to review the app's source code, but the deal does not involve the transfer of its algorithms and technologies.

Marco Rubio, a Republican senator, said there could still be a risk of US user data being sent to China.

"If China continues to control the code, as I understand they would in this deal, they could put in that code an instruction to secretly send data back to China, to the mainland. No matter where the actual data is housed there can be something embedded in that code that sends it the other way," he said during an interview on Fox News.

Education fund?

Another source of confusion: Trump said the deal would also include a $5 billion fund for US education, though he did not say which companies would be making the payment.

ByteDance says TikTok will become its subsidiary

  ByteDance says TikTok will become its subsidiary ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, said Monday that TikTok will become its subsidiary, despite the fact that Oracle and Walmart over the weekend said that U.S. investors would own most of the app.In a Monday statement obtained by Reuters, Bytedance said it will own 80 percent of TikTok Global, a new U.S. company that will have ownership over most of the app's operations internationally, contradicting Oracle and Walmart'sIn a Monday statement obtained by Reuters, Bytedance said it will own 80 percent of TikTok Global, a new U.S. company that will have ownership over most of the app's operations internationally, contradicting Oracle and Walmart's statement.

Trump Celebrates TikTok Deal That Falls Short of Key Demands. Under the current proposal, there will be The valuation for TikTok has been a looming question in the wake of Washington and Beijing Oracle will get full access to review TikTok ’s source code and updates to make sure there are no

President Trump said he approved in principle the deal under which Oracle and Walmert would receive ownership stakes in Chinese-owned app TikTok . His remarks come a day before his administration's ban on TikTok app downloads in the U.S.

ByteDance said Sunday that it was unaware that an education fund would be tied to the TikTok deal.

"Some news media reported that TikTok will set up a $5 billion education fund in the United States," ByteDance said in a statement. "We would like to clarify that it was also our first time hearing about the news."

Walmart and Oracle did not mention anything about an education fund in a statement released over the weekend, but they did say that TikTok Global "will pay more than 5 billion in new tax dollars to the US Treasury."

In its statement on Monday, ByteDance described the "so-called tax payment" as "an estimation of the corporate income tax and other operating taxes that TikTok will need to pay for its business development in the next few years."

What's Trump's role?

Trump positioned himself as the kingmaker of any TikTok deal, making clear that he must agree to the terms before anything is made official.

If that seems unusual, it's because it is. While governments often vet pending deals to protect consumers from monopoly power, and often do weigh national security when a merger is announced, Trump's deep involvement is a stark departure from how deals are typically finalized — as is his move to compel a sale in the first place.

"In the end, Trump is the X-factor," said Dipayan Ghosh, the co-director of the Digital Platforms and Democracy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. "Whatever he wishes will happen, no matter the merits of the related set of policies underlying the proposal."

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  TikTok Lost Half a Million Daily Users After Pompeo Suggested Trump Wanted Ban As negotiations over a potential Oracle-Walmart deal simmer, a Trump administration order that could remove TikTok from Apple and Google app stores is looming.The figure was revealed in court filings on Wednesday as the Chinese-owned company appealed to a U.S. judge to grant an injunction against a Trump administration order that could see the app removed from Apple and Google stores in the U.S. Sunday.

Some experts think the Oracle deal could be helped along because of Trump's ties to cofounder Larry Ellison, a supporter of the president. CEO Safra Katz has also donated to Trump's reelection bid.

After the flurry of weekend activity, time is now running out again to sort through the agreement and secure approval from all parties. And it's still not clear that the arrangement has backing from Beijing.

Why does this matter?

The battle for control of TikTok in the United States goes beyond social media, security concerns and who winds up in charge.

The outcome will also have major geopolitical consequences, as the United States and China move further apart under Trump.

For a while, the focus was on trade and protecting intellectual property, with both sides slapping tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in goods while government officials tried to negotiate new terms of engagement. But over the past two years, sensitive technology has become a big area of contention, too.

The US government has been conducting a long campaign against China's Huawei, which makes smartphones and is a leading manufacturer of equipment for 5G wireless networks. Citing similar spying concerns, the Trump administration has pushed allies to opt for other 5G equipment vendors, while cutting off Huawei's access to US technology, including crucial computer chips.

As pressure expands to other parts of the tech industry, companies are considering the emergence of a new world order that could reshape how global firms do business.

TikTok download ban temporarily blocked by US judge in a blow to the Trump administration

  TikTok download ban temporarily blocked by US judge in a blow to the Trump administration A federal judge on Sunday ruled in favor of TikTok, just hours before the download ban was scheduled to go into effect.On Wednesday, TikTok filed for the preliminary injunction against the Justice Department order, which would ban downloads of the TikTok app in the US beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. As Business Insider's Paige Leskin previously reported, lawyers for TikTok filed the request as part of TikTok's lawsuit against the US government, which challenges the legality of the president's proposed ban.

Deutsche Bank has estimated that supply and demand disruptions, along with the construction of a "tech wall" that forces companies to create two sets of standards for the United States and China, could cost companies $3.5 trillion over the next five years.

The broader economic relationship is also at stake at a delicate moment following the historic shock from the pandemic. In a report published in mid-September, the consultancy Rhodium Group found that US-China investment dropped to its lowest level in nine years during the first half of 2020 as tensions rose.

I use TikTok. What does it mean for me?

As the situation continues to evolve, TikTok's tens of millions of US users worry they could lose access to one of their favorite products.

Under the terms of the threatened ban, people who already had TikTok on their phones could still post short videos of dances, fun recipes and comedy routines per usual, but no new downloads would be allowed. US users also wouldn't be able to receive security patches or other updates, which could cause outages or glitches in the future.

Though a ban has been averted for now, fears about restrictions have sent TikTok downloads soaring. They rose 12% to 247,000 in the United States on Friday, compared to Thursday, according to preliminary estimates from Sensor Tower, a research firm.

— Brian Fung, Sherisse Pham, Jill Disis, Selina Wang and Shanshan Wang contributed reporting.

Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for Trump's TikTok ban .
The decision by a federal judge Sunday to temporarily block a federal ban on TikTok marks another setback to President Trump's efforts to quickly overhaul how the Chinese-owned platform does business in the U.S.The ruling also creates more confusion around the wildly popular video app's continued U.S. operations. Beijing-based ByteDance has yet to receive final approval from the federal government on its new business arrangement with Oracle and Walmart, and the pending deal does not appear to require the Chinese company to fully divest itself of TikTok.

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