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ByteDance opts for partnership with Oracle, drops sale of US operations

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TikTok

ByteDance abandoned the sale of TikTok in the US on Sunday to pursue a partnership with Oracle that it hopes will spare it a US ban while appeasing China’s government, people familiar with the matter said.

The Beijing-based company had been in talks to divest TikTok’s US business to Oracle or a consortium led by Microsoft after US President Donald Trump ordered the sale last month and threatened to shut down the short-video app in the US.

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While TikTok is best known for its anodyne videos of dancing that go viral among teenagers, US officials have expressed concerns that user information could be passed to China’s communist government. TikTok, which has as many as 100 million US users, has said it would not comply with any request to share such data with Chinese authorities.

Sale negotiations were upended by China updating its export control rules last month to give it a say over the transfer of TikTok’s algorithm to a foreign buyer. Reuters reported last week that China’s government would rather see TikTok shut down in the US than let it be part of a forced sale.

Under the proposal, Oracle will be ByteDance’s technology partner and assume management of TikTok’s US user data, the sources said. Oracle is also negotiating taking a stake in TikTok’s US operations, they added.

Tech Central

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