ByteDance reaches agreement with Oracle and Walmart on TikTok
Published: Sep 20, 2020 10:57 AM

Photo: VCG

ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart have reached an agreement in principle, ByteDance told the Global Times on Sunday. The three parties will reach a cooperative agreement, subject to US and China government approvals as required by applicable laws, as soon as possible.

US president Donald Trump has reportedly approved the deal between TikTok and the US companies. According to Chinese media website, TikTok is now planning a pre-IPO, with Oracle and Walmart expected to invest around $12.5 billion, pushing the company's total valuation to $62.5 billion. The planned investment would see Oracle and Walmart holding 12.5 percent and 7.5 percent of shares respectively.

The agreement aims to strengthen TikTok's business in the US and to meet the regulatory requirements of the US administration ensuring that 100 million Americans can continue to use the highly popular video and content app, the company said. 

Timeline: US ramps up tech decoupling from China Infographic: GT

Trump's approval on the deal delays the threat to the social media app. The US ban on downloading TikTok, originally scheduled to take effect on Sunday, was postponed to September 27, according to the US Department of Commerce. 

TikTok, owned by Chinese company Bytedance, arrived in the US in 2018 and sees American traffic of more than 100 million users each month. It has been facing increasing pressure from the Trump administration which threatened to ban the platform unless its US business was bought by an American company. Several companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Oracle and Walmart emerged as potential bidders.

China later released the most sweeping adjustments seen in over a decade to the catalogue of technologies that are subject to export controls, including certain artificial intelligence (AI) and computing technologies. ByteDance has pledged that it will strictly follow new regulations which could affect TikTok's sales in the US, particularly regarding its core technology and algorithms. 

Global Times