As ByteDance tumbles towards the deadline imposed by US President Donald Trump‘s ban on the company, it has decided to pick Oracle over Microsoft for selling off its US operations.
The report comes from Bloomberg, based on people familiar with the talks. Also, according to the report, a deal between ByteDance and Oracle will probably look more like corporate restructuring than an outright sale. According to people familiar with the matter, Oracle may take a stake in a newly formed US business and serve as TikTok’s technology partner. That would mean that TikTok’s US data will be stored in Oracle’s cloud servers.
On the other hand, Microsoft has since confirmed that it’s talks with ByteDance have ended. The Redmond giant and Walmart had come together to try and buy TikTok’s US operations. In a statement released today, the company said “ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
Surprisingly, it looks like Walmart is still trying to get some sort of deal with ByteDance. In a statement to Bloomberg, a Walmart spokesperson said that “[the company] continues discussions with ByteDance leadership and other interested parties. We know that any approved deal must satisfy all regulatory and national security concerns.”
Even with the deal with Oracle, ByteDance may not be out of hot water. The US government wants ByteDance to sell off its US assets completely, while this deal is trying to be more of a corporate restructure. As such, it’s unclear whether the White House will approve of the deal and allow TikTok’s operations to continue in the US after the deadline.