Oracle’s TikTok non-acquisition seeks Treasury, White House approval

Enlarge / The TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone, with logo of parent company ByteDance in the background. (credit: Sheldon Coope | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images)

President Donald Trump spent several months pushing to have TikTok banned or sold to a US firm. He seems to have gotten his way, as Oracle confirmed it struck a deal with ByteDance over TikTok. That transaction, however, does not necessarily assuage the White House’s stated concerns with the popular video app—and the deal has a long way to go, in a short period of time, before it’s done.

The specific terms of the agreement have still not been made public. The arrangement is not the full sale that Trump was pushing for as recently as last Friday. China’s export ban on machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms prevented that kind of direct acquisition.

Oracle has said very little about the transaction, which first leaked late on Sunday. Monday morning, the company confirmed it submitted a proposal to become ByteDance’s “trusted technology provider” to the Treasury Department for review over the weekend of September 12-13. Tuesday morning, it repeated the statement as part of a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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