China's ByteDance to Keep Majority Tik-Tok Stake in Oracle Deal Under U.S. Consideration -- 4th Update
By Kate Davidson and Georgia Wells
WASHINGTON -- China's ByteDance Ltd. would retain a majority
ownership stake in its TikTok app as part of a proposal to be
reviewed by national-security regulators on Tuesday with an eye
toward settling the high-profile deal by a deadline Sunday,
according to a person familiar with the situation.
The proposal includes Oracle Corp.'s bid to become TikTok's U.S.
technology partner as part of an effort to address the
administration's national-security concerns surrounding the
Chinese-owned video-sharing app
A senior administration official said the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the U.S., which includes officials from the Treasury,
Commerce and Homeland Security departments, will review the TikTok
deal at its regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
The review is one of the final steps before officials present
the proposed transaction to President Trump.
Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House that his
administration would make a decision on the pending deal "pretty
soon," adding that he has "high respect" for Larry Ellison,
'I heard they're very close to a deal," Mr. Trump said Tuesday
In an Aug. 6 executive order, the White House effectively gave
Beijing-based ByteDance a 45-day deadline to shed its U.S.
operations or face a ban. The administration contends that the app
poses a security threat because data on U.S. consumers could be
shared with the Chinese government, a concern that TikTok has
The proposal presented to the committee involves TikTok's global
business becoming a U.S.-based company that would still be a unit
of ByteDance, according to the person familiar with the matter.
Oracle would take a minority stake in that company, along with
other possible U.S. investors including Walmart Inc., the person
ByteDance would retain a majority stake, the person said. The
Financial Times earlier reported parts of the plan.
TikTok said Monday the proposal submitted to the Treasury
Department should resolve the administration's security
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that his
office received a bid proposal from Oracle for TikTok's operations
over the weekend and said that the Treasury-led Cfius panel would
study it and make a recommendation to Mr. Trump.
"From our standpoint, we'll need to make sure that the [app's]
code is, one, secure, Americans' data is secure, that the phones
are secure and we'll be looking to have discussions with Oracle
over the next few days with our technical teams." Mr. Mnuchin said
Mr. Mnuchin also said the Oracle deal includes a commitment to
establish TikTok as a global company with headquarters in the U.S.,
which he said would mean 20,000 new jobs.
The Treasury secretary said he wouldn't go into all the details
of the plan, but clarified that the deadline for the TikTok deal is
Mr. Trump issued a separate executive order Aug. 6 that banned
U.S. individuals and firms from transactions involving WeChat, the
popular Chinese app owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd. that combines
text messages, mobile payments, social media and other
The proposed ban has rattled American companies doing business
in China. They worry it could disrupt their marketing campaigns and
other operations in the world's second-largest economy.
The precise outline of the WeChat ban isn't clear, however, with
Mr. Trump directing the Commerce Department to present details by
In an interview last week, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
said his department would meet that deadline and would publish
rules detailing the specific transactions that will be
Kate O'Keeffe contributed to this article.
Write to Kate Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Georgia
Wells at Georgia.Wells@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 15, 2020 19:14 ET (23:14 GMT)
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