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The big picture: Separating TikTok from ByteDance could be tricky, especially if its new owner only buys operations in select regions. Would that lead to multiple versions of TikTok, a name change or more? Time will tell.
Microsoft isn’t the only US-based tech giant interested in acquiring TikTok. Oracle, the Redwood City-based cloud and database specialist has reportedly expressed interest in the popular Chinese-owned video app.
The Financial Times claims Oracle co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison has met with TikTok owner ByteDance regarding an acquisition of the app’s US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations. Sources tell the publication that Oracle was working with a group of investors including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic that already own a stake in ByteDance.
Microsoft is also a key suitor in the discussion, confirming as much on its official blog earlier this month. Sources tell FT that Microsoft is particularly interested in buying TikTok in regions where the app has been banned, like India. According to a person close to ByteDance, the company is opposed to selling assets beyond those in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
With Oracle now interested in TikTok, one has to think that gives ByteDance a bit of negotiating room to counter a potential offer from Microsoft.
Regardless of who ends up with TikTok, the general consensus is that the asset will trade hands soon. President Donald Trump last week gave ByteDance 90 days to divest TikTok’s operations in the US due to concerns about the app as a national security threat.