Microsoft out, Oracle selected as buyer of TikTok’s U.S. business

On September 14, according to Microsoft officials and people familiar with the negotiations on the sale of TikTok’s assets, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has rejected Microsoft’s offer to acquire TikTok’s U.S. business. According to sources, Oracle has been selected as the buyer of TikTok’s US business, and Oracle will be announced as TikTok’s “trusted closing partner” in the US, and the transaction may not be an outright sale.

Microsoft’s official statement said: “ByteDance informed us today that it will not sell TikTok’s business in the United States to Microsoft. We believe that our proposal will benefit TikTok’s users and colleagues to protect national security interests. To do this, We should have made significant changes to ensure the service meets the highest standards of security, privacy, online safety and combating disinformation, principles we made clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing TikTok in the US in these important areas of development.”

On August 28, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China released the Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Exports in China, which includes the artificial intelligence algorithms involved in ByteDance’s business, namely “personalized information push service technology based on data analysis”. Afterwards, ByteDance also stated that it will “strictly abide by the “China Technology Import and Export Management Regulations” and “China’s Catalogue of Technology Prohibited and Restricted from Exporting”, and handle related business related to technology export.

Previously, there were also multiple media reports that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, was discussing the possibility of delaying the transaction with the US government, and even hoped that the US would allow the results of its sale to be changed to avoid TikTok, the popular short video application, from selling all its US business.

Microsoft’s statement in August stated that the only way to protect the privacy of TokTok users in the United States and prevent the use of TikTok as a platform for “false information” is to take over the entire source code of the algorithm behind the application and decide to use it every month. The app’s algorithm for which videos are watched by 100 million Americans. This move is most likely the main reason for ByteDance’s rejection.

According to Trump’s previous ban, September 15 was seen as an ultimatum for TikTok to sell its U.S. operations. Some foreign media said that after Microsoft confirmed that TikTok rejected its acquisition offer, there is currently only one open bidding Oracle company.

ByteDance said Oracle would be its “technology partner” and the deal may not be an outright sale, people involved in the talks said. But it is unclear whether the two companies will cooperate or take equity stakes to solve the immediate problem. ByteDance declined to comment on Microsoft’s statement, and an Oracle spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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