With a Sept. 20 deadline approaching for TikTok’s parent company to shed its United States operations, per an executive order from President Donald Trump, Oracle has apparently won the bidding, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, said Oracle won the bidding. Microsoft, which was also in the running for the bid, said Sunday its takeover offer was rejected.
TikTok owner ByteDance told Microsoft it wouldn’t be selling to the company, Microsoft announced in a Sunday blog post.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
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Like Microsoft, Oracle’s main business is targeted to enterprises, and cloud computing. The company was formed in 1977 by Larry Ellison and other partners. According to Forbes, Ellison is one of the world’s wealthiest men, worth $74.9 billion. He owns Lanai, one of the six main Hawaiian islands. He bought it for $300 million in 2012.
Trump said in announcing his order that he was concerned TikTok was collecting personal information and more from TikTok users, and that ByteDance, which is based in China, would be forced to share it with the Chinese government.
TikTok is one of the most popular apps for young people, with over 100 million downloads. In the latest app store charts, TikTok is the No. 2 most downloaded app on the Apple store, and No. 5 on Google Play.
The Trump administration’s Sept. 20 deadline was to announce a plan for the sale, or to be banned in the U.S. by Sept. 29.
TikTok, known as Douyin in China, was developed by the Chinese company ByteDance in 2016. The Beijing-based media and tech company bought the teen-focused social app Musical.ly the following year, and the company merged the two apps in 2018.
Originally a home for wacky music-filled amateur videos, TikTok has rapidly grown its own roster of influencers and attracted stars such as Alicia Keys, Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg – and built a U.S. audience of 100 million.
Several other big tech companies including Facebook and Google considered a TikTok bid. Enterprise software company Oracle reportedly did make a bid, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and several other outlets.
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