US tech giant Microsoft said Sunday its offer to buy TikTok was rejected, leaving Oracle as the sole remaining bidder ahead of a looming deadline for the Chinese-owned video app to sell or shut down its US operations.
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that Oracle had won the bidding war, citing people familiar with the deal, although the company did not immediately confirm the matter to AFP.
The Oracle bid would next need approval from the White House and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a source told the Journal, with both parties under the belief it would meet US data security concerns.
TikTok has been at the center of a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing, and President Donald Trump has given Americans a deadline to stop doing business with TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance — effectively compelling a sale of the app to a US company.
Microsoft had indicated at the beginning of August that it was interested in acquiring TikTok’s US operations, but said Sunday that bid had been rejected.
“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” the US tech giant said in a statement.null
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” it added.
In early August, Trump issued an executive order stating that if a purchase agreement were not reached by September 20, the platform would have to close in the United States.
Trump claims that TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers on people for blackmail and conduct corporate espionage.null
– Disputed dangers –
Downloaded 175 million times in the US, TikTok is used by as many as a billion people worldwide to make quirky, short-form videos on their cellphones. It has repeatedly denied sharing data with Beijing.
Microsoft said it would have “made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation.”
A deal with Microsoft could also have included Walmart, which joined forces with the tech giant in negotiations.