Software giant Oracle has entered talks to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations, as well as its assets in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to multiple reports.
The Financial Times was the first outlet to report the news on Monday, with CNBC following soon after. Oracle, led by co-founder Larry Ellison, is looking to top Microsoft when it comes to the bidding — expected to be somewhere in the $30-$50 billion range — and is working with several U.S. investors who already have a stake in TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, according to FT. General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital are two of the firms working with Oracle on a potential deal, according to the same report.
Oracle’s stock jumped 4.5% in early-morning trading on Tuesday, hitting $56.39 per share.
President Trump last Friday ordered Bytedance to offload TikTok’s U.S. business within 90 days, pointing to “credible evidence” the popular video app poses a national security threat. In Friday’s order, the president said Bytedance must submit a weekly report to The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States on its divestment efforts. Friday’s order also said Bytedance, in order to complete its sale, must show it has “destroyed all data” tied to American users.
Microsoft has been the frontrunner to this point when it comes to buying TikTok’s business in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Oracle, on the other hand, is a bit of a left-field candidate, despite its formidable size; the company is worth $174 billion as of Tuesday morning. But Oracle lacks a video component to its business, and it doesn’t specialize in social media, either, making it a potential odd fit with TikTok.
Along these lines, President Trump has said the app will be jettisoned from the U.S., barring a sale to an American firm, due to national security concerns.
One Reddit user recently reverse-engineered TikTok to show what the app collects from its users — highlighting information Bytedance could be compelled to share with China’s government, based on the country’s laws. The app collects a wide range of information from users, according to the independent review, including IP and MAC addresses, GPS location, and other apps that are installed on a user’s phone, among other data points.