As the Chinese social media app revealed a new deal with Oracle and Walmart that will help keep its foot on US soil, the Trump vs TikTok battle has taken a new turn. On Saturday, TikTok ‘s interim head, Vanessa Pappas, announced that Walmart and Oracle would participate in a pre-IPO funding round and could take up to 20 % of the total stock.
The proposed TikTok acquisition, first publicly reported on August 2nd, comes in response to months of escalating questions regarding Chinese ownership of an app used by millions of Americans. In order to mitigate the concerns, Microsoft , Oracle, and Triller have all placed bids to buy TikTok ‘s operations in the US, Canada, Australia , and New Zealand (about 30 percent of global users).
Now both sides are trying to figure out whether the order indicates that the algorithms need the approval of the Chinese government for move, and whether Beijing will sign off if so. The uncertainty involved has decreased the probability that an agreement will soon be concluded.
ByteDance Ltd., the parent company of TikTok, has said it will comply with the Chinese government order, and is trying to get clarification from Beijing on how to proceed with a sale if its algorithms are protected by the new restrictions, some of the individuals said.
Although President Trump has repeatedly said that by September an agreement had to be reached, his executive order gave the parties until the end of September to work out an agreement. Therefore, in the next two to three days, we intend to accept a final contract, or refuse it outright.
It’s also possible, even probable, that Trump is bluffing, and once the deadline arrives, he will make a discreet tactical retreat, unable to push the issue too close to the election. But whatever happens, TikTok’s US workers are placed in a highly uncomfortable role and set an ugly precedent for federal social networking regulation.
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