Just hours before new app downloads would be banned in the United States, Vanessa Pappas, the interim head of TikTok, announced on Saturday that the company has reached a proposal with Oracle and Walmart that will keep the video sharing platform alive in the country. The deal has also been approved by President Donald Trump, reports Bloomberg.
The deal will effectively establish a new company, TikTok Global, in which Oracle and Walmart can together take up to a 20 percent stake in. TikTok Global will be headquartered in the United States and will bring 25,000 jobs to the country. Pappas said that Oracle will be responsible for storing user data, emphasizing the company’s commitment to protect its users’ privacy.
We’re pleased that today we’ve confirmed a proposal that resolves the Administration’s security concerns and settles questions around TikTok’s future in the US. Our plan is extensive and consistent with previous CFIUS resolutions, including working with Oracle, who will be our trusted cloud and technology provider responsible for fully securing our users’ data. We are committed to protecting our users globally and providing the highest levels of security. Both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand the US as TikTok Global’s headquarters while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.
The deal was announced just hours before the U.S. Commerce Department was set to ban new downloads of TikTok, and Bloomberg says the ban on TikTok has been delayed by a week after Trump gave his initial approval of the proposal. The initial ban was set to include both TikTok and WeChat, but it is unclear at the current time if the latter app, which is owned by China’s Tencent Holdings, will still be banned from Apple and Google’s respective U.S. app stores on Sunday.
President Trump in August signed an executive order giving ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to 90 days to sell its TikTok business in the United States due to evidence of possible national security threats from the China-based company. Though TikTok has opted for a partnership instead of a divestment of U.S. operations, all user data will be stored by U.S.-based Oracle, and the company will be able to review TikTok’s current source code and that of any subsequent updates.
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