Casting a shadow over the TikTok-Oracle deal, US President Donald Trump on Monday said that he will not approve the deal if its parent firm ByteDance retains any control. The comments raised fresh concerns over a weekend deal that appeared to avert a US-ordered ban of TikTok, which the Trump administration has called a national security risk.
“If we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal… We will be watching it very closely,” Trump told Fox News in an interview.
Though a deal was finalised between Oracle, Walmart and TikTok, details of the plan remained unclear, with differing accounts on the American and Chinese shares of the new firm. It is also not clear as to who would control the data and algorithms.
The Chinese firm, which is facing immense pressure from China to not fall for the deal, had said that it would hold an 80% stake in TikTok Global after a public share offering. They also rubbished the reports that claimed that there would be a transfer of “algorithms and technologies”.
Confusing the situation further Oracle said that Americans will have a majority share in the company. “Upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global,” Oracle vice president Ken Glueck said.