“#Trump backs Oracle as potential buyer for TikTok”
August 19, 2020 | 10:05am | Updated August 19, 2020 | 11:03am
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Trump called Oracle a “great company” following reports that the software giant had preliminary talks about buying TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it,” the president said.
Trump also said he thinks the company’s owner “is a tremendous guy” — a possible reference to Oracle co-founder and chairman Larry Ellison, a Trump supporter.
Trump has set a Sept. 15 deadline for ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, to sell the app’s US operations amid concerns that Americans’ user data could be shared with the Chinese government. TikTok has denied such allegations.
Microsoft had emerged in recent weeks as the leading bidder for TikTok, saying earlier this month that it had talked with the Trump administration about its discussions with ByteDance. Twitter — which has clashed with Trump over misinformation in his tweets — has also reportedly expressed interest in bidding.
But Oracle has leaders who are friendly to the president. Ellison — the world’s 12th-richest person with a net worth of $65.8 billion, according to Bloomberg — held a Trump campaign fundraiser at his California estate in February, and CEO Safra Catz reportedly worked on Trump’s White House transition team.
Trump indicated that TikTok’s ultimate buyer will have to pay the US government to get the deal done.
“We’re the ones making it possible, so our Treasury has to be very well compensated,” he said.
Neither Oracle nor TikTok immediately responded to requests for comment Wednesday morning.
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