Trump Touts ‘Fantastic’ TikTok Deal With Walmart And Oracle

In this file photo illustration taken on November 21, 2019, the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok is displayed on a tablet screen in Paris. – When India banned TikTok in June 2020, it closed a window to the wider world for legions of women outside the big cities that provided fun, fame and even fortune. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) / TO GO WITH India-China-TikTok-science-software-lifestyle,FOCUS by Aishwarya KUMAR

 

President Donald Trump said Saturday he had approved a deal allowing Silicon Valley giant Oracle to become the data partner for TikTok to avert a shutdown of the massively popular Chinese-owned video app that Washington has called a security risk.

The deal, announced by the companies, also includes Walmart as a commercial partner and would create a new US company named TikTok Global.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic deal,” Trump said. “I have given the deal my blessing. If they get it done that’s great, if they don’t that’s okay too.”

Shortly after, TikTok — owned by China’s ByteDance — confirmed the agreement, which came with companies racing against a Sunday deadline set by Trump’s administration after which new downloads of the app would be banned.

Oracle could buy a 12.5 percent stake in TikTok before a future IPO, and Walmart a 7.5 percent stake.

According to a source close to the matter, ByteDance would keep the rest of the shares. But since the Chinese company is 40 percent owned by American investors, TikTok would eventually be majority American-owned.

“We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the US,” a spokeswoman for TikTok told AFP.

ByteDance also confirmed the deal on social media, saying the three companies would reach an agreement that was “in line with US and Chinese law” as soon as possible.

If it comes to fruition, the deal could mark the deescalation of a technology battle between Washington and Beijing.

It could also allow Americans to continue using the wildly popular app: the US Department of Commerce announced it was postponing the ban on TikTok downloads until September 27, citing “recent positive developments.”

– Security concerns –
Trump has claimed for weeks that TikTok is collecting user data for Beijing, without ever providing evidence for his allegations.

In early August, he gave ByteDance until September 20 to hand over TikTok’s US operations to an American company.

And on Friday, the Trump administration ordered a ban on downloads of the video-sharing app, as well as Chinese-owned messaging platform WeChat.

TikTok’s brand of short, quirky phone videos has become a global phenomenon, especially among young people, with 100 million users in the United States alone.

Trump said the “security will be 100 percent” and that the companies would use separate cloud servers.

The deal will lead to the creation of a new company, headquartered in Texas, that will have “nothing to do with China” but will still be called TikTok, according to the president.

Oracle will be in charge of hosting all US user data and the security of the associated computer systems, while Walmart will supply its online sales, order management and payment services.

In a joint statement, Oracle and Walmart said TikTok Global would “pay more than 5 billion in new tax dollars to the US Treasury,” while they and the other companies involved in the deal would launch an initiative to develop online education.

Trump, who previously said the federal government deserved a cut of the deal for authorizing it, had initially announced the companies would make a “contribution” towards education.

– ‘Bullying’ –
Under Friday’s US order against the Chinese apps, Tencent-owned WeChat would lose functionality in the United States from Sunday.

Following the TikTok-Oracle-Walmart deal’s announcement, TikTok users will be banned from installing updates starting September 27.

In response, China’s Commerce Ministry on Saturday condemned what it called US “bullying,” saying it violated international trade norms and that there was no evidence of any security threat, shortly before launching a mechanism that would allow it to sanction foreign companies.

China’s long-expected “unreliable entities list” is seen as a weapon for Beijing to retaliate against the United States, which has used its own “entity list” to shut Chinese telecom giant Huawei out of the US market, in addition to the recent moves against TikTok and WeChat.

“While the US/China tensions continue across all aspects of the technology food chain, resolving this TikTok and ByteDance standoff and complex Rubik’s Cube political backdrop is a relief for tech investors with Oracle in the winners circle,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

According to the US Treasury, the TikTok deal still needs to be finalized by the involved companies and approved by a federal national security committee.

With Trump facing a tough reelection campaign, US officials have described the measures as essential to safeguard against potential Chinese espionage through the platforms.

But Trump critics have said that while TikTok’s security risks were unclear, the sweeping ban raises concerns about the government’s ability to regulate free expression.

 

 

-AFP

US Government Confirms Receiving Oracle Bid For TikTok

(FILES) In this file photo illustration, the social media application logo, TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on an American flag background on August 3, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. – The US government has received a bid from Oracle for TikTok’s American operations after the video sharing app’s parent ByteDance rejected a proposal from Microsoft, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on September 14, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

 

The US government has received a bid from Oracle for TikTok’s American operations after the video-sharing app’s parent ByteDance rejected a proposal from Microsoft, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

Mnuchin told CNBC his office received the proposal involving Oracle over the weekend and said the bid would be handled by a government panel that reviews foreign transactions for national security concerns.

Oracle confirmed the submission, saying the company “is part of the proposal by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider.”

President Donald Trump’s administration has sought the sale of TikTok from ByteDance, citing concerns about US data security.

The transaction is being structured as a partnership and probably won’t be an outright sale, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

“I will confirm that we did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner,” Mnuchin said. “We will be reviewing that at the committee this week and then we’ll be making a recommendation to the president and reviewing it with him.”

Mnuchin declined to go into detail on the bid.

“We need to make sure that the code is, one, secure, Americans’ data are secure, phones are secure, and we’ll be having discussions with Oracle over the next few days with our technical teams,” Mnuchin said.

In early August, Trump issued an executive order stating that if a purchase agreement was not reached by September 20, the platform would have to close in the United States.

Shares of Oracle were halted shortly after the open due to news pending on the company. Shares were up 4.3 percent at $59.44 at the time trading was frozen.

AFP

Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd Dies At 62

courtesy: www.bizjournals.com/

 

Oracle Corp. ORCL -0.87% said Mark Hurd, one of its two chief executives officers, died Friday.

Oracle said last month that Mr. Hurd, 62, was taking a medical leave of absence, removing the technology giant’s top executive for sales and strategy at a time of intensifying competition in the business-software market.

Oracle didn’t immediately mention the cause of death and hadn’t said what specific issues the CEO was facing when he took leave.

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison said “Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”

He shared the chief executive role with co-CEO Safra Catz. Hurd, who was paid $108.3 million last year, previously served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard for five years until 2010.

In an email to employees on Friday morning obtained by the Business Journal, Oracle co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison wrote:

Team,
It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning.

Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.

All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly. Some of us will moss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor.

Mark leaves his beloved wife Paula, two wonderful daughters who were the joy of his life, and his much larger extended family here at Oracle who came to love him. I know that many of us are inconsolable right now, but we are left with memories and a sense of gratitude… that we had the opportunity to get to know Mark, the opportunity to work with him … and become his friend.