Microsoft says Bytedance won't sell TikTok's United States operations to it

Andrew Cummings
September 14, 2020

A source of the South China Morning Post claims ByteDance "will not hand out source code to any U.S. buyer" for TikTok.

The decision by ByteDance to reject Microsoft's proposal makes Oracle the main potential TikTok buyer.

This new condition to a deal with a US company comes as the Trump Administration has given ByteDance until Tuesday to sell TikTok.

China's ByteDance has picked a consortium led by Oracle Corp ORCL.N for a deal for the USA operations of short-video app TikTok, beating out rival bidder Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The government worries about user data being funnelled to Chinese authorities. "We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests", Microsoft said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas". His executive order formalizing the ban threat was issued two days later.

Walmart had planned to partner with Microsoft on the deal.

Oracle and TikTok declined to comment.

In response, TikTok sued the United States administration over the executive order envisaging the app's ban in the country, arguing that blocking TikTok would mean "eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs and irreparably harming the millions of Americans who turn to this app for entertainment, connection, and legitimate livelihoods that are vital especially during the pandemic".

The site, which lets people record and edit short video clips ranging from lighthearted lipsyncs to more serious political statements, has gained popularity during the global pandemic that's kept many people cooped up indoors.

Oracle is working with venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, a ByteDance investor, in its pursuit of TikTok.

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