What just happened? President Trump has provisionally agreed a deal between the Chinese-owned social platform TikTok and U.S. firms Oracle and Walmart, meaning the hugely popular video-sharing app may remain available for users in the United States, after all. Speaking with reporters outside the White House on Saturday as he departed for a rally in North Carolina, President Trump said he had “approved the deal in concept” and had given it his “blessing.”
The news came less than a day before a ban on TikTok app’s maintenance and updates was due to come into effect following concerns around the Chinese-owned service. Trump initially signed an executive order banning both TikTok and WeChat in August, citing concerns around “the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
The deal between Oracle, Walmart, and TikTok is expected to produce a new company, TikTok Global, which would be headquartered in Texas, would hire some 25,000 employees, and would contribute $5 billion towards U.S. education, according to Bloomberg.
As part of the deal, Oracle will become TikTok’s “trusted technology provider” and will host user data in the Oracle Cloud. Further details are expected to become available over the coming days.
Oracle CEO Safra Catz said, “We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.”
For now, TikTok has one week to finalize the details, with the U.S. Department of Commerce delaying its imminent ban by one week. Unless satisfactory arrangements between the companies can be made, the TikTok app’s updates and maintenance will be halted on September 27 at 11:59 PM.