ByteDance has reached a preliminary “technical partnership” agreement with Oracle for TikTok’s US operations that does not include a full sale of the short video app, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

As part of the deal, Oracle plans to address the national security concerns that Donald Trump’s administration has raised over the Chinese company’s ownership of TikTok, said one of the people.

The US technology group chaired by Larry Ellison, one of the few people in Silicon Valley who has publicly supported US president Donald Trump, is likely to own a minority stake in the US business.

Existing ByteDance investors are also expected to have a stake in the final deal, said one person with knowledge of the discussions, who added that the talks are continuing and could change. Any deal would require the support of the US and Chinese governments.

Oracle did not respond to requests for comment. ByteDance declined to comment.

The developments follow a protracted bidding process that pitted Oracle against Microsoft, which announced in early August that it was discussing the purchase of TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Microsoft said on Sunday its bid had been rejected, leaving Oracle as the only remaining suitor. “We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

Walmart, the US retailer that was working with Microsoft on its bid, said it “continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment and continues discussions with ByteDance leadership and other interested parties”.

Source: Financial Times 

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