President Trump on Tuesday said TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based Bytedance, and Oracle are “close to a deal” that would have the popular video app’s U.S. operations transfer to the software giant.
“We’re going to make a decision soon,” Trump said, according to Fox News reporter Lydia Moynihan. The president added he has “high respect” for Oracle co-Founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison, who the president added was a “terrific guy.” As TheWrap reported in late August, Oracle moved into the lead to takeover TikTok’s U.S. operations, leapfrogging Microsoft, thanks in part to Ellison’s close ties to the White House.
— Lydia Moynihan (@LJMoynihan) September 15, 2020
The president’s comments come a day after Oracle said it had reached an agreement with TikTok to become its “trusted technology provider” in the U.S. Both companies have not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment on what that means in terms of the overall scope of the deal. President Trump signed an executive order in August calling for Bytedance to offload TiKTok’s U.S. business to an American company or face being banned due to national security concerns.
Trump’s Tuesday comments also come a day after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration will conduct a national security review of the proposed Oracle-TikTok deal this week. If the deal gets the green light from the feds, Mnuchin told CNBC it would lead to a new wing of the company dubbed “TikTok Global.” The deal would also lead to about 20,000 new American jobs, Mnuchin said, which could grease the wheels even more when it comes to getting the blessing of President Trump.
Mnuchin added the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) will review the deal this week and then offer a formal recommendation to Trump.