Oracle has expressed an interest in purchasing TikTok’s US business, competing with Microsoft in a race to acquire the popular Chinese-owned short video app, the Financial Times reported, citing people briefed about the matter.
Oracle has held preliminary talks with TikTok owner ByteDance, and was seriously considering purchasing the app’s business in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the FT report said. The company was also working with Bytedance’s US investors such as General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, according to the report.
A phone call to Oracle’s Beijing office seeking comment was not answered immediately. Bytedance and TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by email.
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On Friday US President Donald Trump ordered ByteDance to divest the US operations of its video-sharing app TikTok within 90 days. Microsoft has emerged as a front-runner to buy the US operation, while media reports suggest a number of others have joined the fray, including Twitter.
However, Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates has warned against the deal.
“Who knows what’s going to happen with that deal,” Gates said in a recent interview with Wired. “But yes, it’s a poison[ed] chalice.”
Securing a sale is easier said than done due to a complex array of legal and technical obstacles, the Post reported earlier.
“The details of a potential split would be complex to say the least. Microsoft, or whoever purchases TikTok, would need to audit all of the code, servers, business contracts, processes, and even employees before they make any substantial changes,” said Patrick Jackson, a former National Security Agency researcher who is now chief technology officer of privacy software company Disconnect.
“I suspect this could take several months at least – maybe even years,” he told the Post last week.
More from South China Morning Post:
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This article Oracle enters the competition to purchase TikTok’s US business, says FT report first appeared on South China Morning Post