What happened to TikTok and Oracle

TikTok's parent company ByteDance and the US government had months of messy negotiations about its future. |Photographic illustration: Andrea Ronchini; NurPhoto / Getty Images

The release of "Promotion" is just the latest plot twist in a months-long political battle about this popular video-sharing app the future of.

The fate of TikTok, this popular video since President Donald Trump signed an executive order in late August, sharing apps has involved many conspiracy twists and turns, which promises to be based on national security considerations Effectively prohibit TikTok from doing business in the United States-unless a Chinese-owned app sells its business in the United States to a U.S. company that was released on September 20.

The latest news: Microsoft is regarded as the best among several potential bidders and said Sunday that it would not purchase the application. In contrast, Oracle is a database software company, and its co-founders and CEOs are all public supporters of Trump.

But, please wait-Oracle actually has no plans to acquire TikTok. Instead, it provided the right to buy to take over TikTok's US data business (Microsoft initially wanted to do the same, but Trump discouraged it-I will talk about it later), further complicating the situation.

The proposed transaction between Oracle and ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok involves many unusual political, turbulent and complicated factors. At this point, you may be confused about what is happening and how TikTok got here in the first place. This is what we know so far, what is the meaning of this transaction.

Oracle will not directly acquire TikTok. It is not clear whether this will alleviate national security issues.

At present, we still have a lot to do because the relevant terms have not been made public, so I don’t know the proposed transaction between TikTok and Oracle. detail.

But one thing we do know is that Oracle had stated its intention to become a "trusted technology provider" for ByteDance, instead of saying

Oracle issued a statement here Monday morning: "Oracle confirmed Secretary of State Mnuchin This is part of the proposal that ByteDance will submit to Oracle to the Ministry of Finance over the weekend. Oracle will act as a trusted technology provider at Oracle. Oracle has a 40-year history of providing safe, high-performance technical solutions. "

If this Oracle-TikTok proposal proceeds as planned (rather than selling all), it raises the question of why President Trump issued an executive order to pressure TikTok to sell its entire US business in the first place.

Trump stated that he issued an executive order out of serious national security issues. In other words, because ByteDance is a Chinese company, the Chinese government may allegedly press TikTok to return sensitive US user data to Beijing. Another concern is that TikTok may censor TikTok topics that the Chinese government does not agree with.

TikTok repeatedly asserted that it will store all US data in the US and Singapore, which on the surface makes it difficult for the Chinese government to reach.

Although there is no public evidence that the Chinese government ever forced TikTok to monitor American users or control the content they saw and discussed on the app, it was also refused by the Chinese government to censor content in the United States.

It is also difficult to rule out this possibility. The Chinese government often exercises power over domestic companies for political purposes, such as forcing technology companies to hand over user data.

The real problem is that it is not clear how Oracle handles TikTok's US data-without the need to include TikTok US as an independent company in the United States that is not supervised by ByteDance-can alleviate all these security or censorship issues.

“If you were worried about these issues before, it’s not clear why you should no longer worry about it now,” Professor Bobby Chesney, who specializes in national security law, told Recode from the University of Texas.

Although it is not yet known whether Trump will approve the transaction, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC Monday morning: "Microsoft and Oracle; they [ByteDance] chose Oracle.

When the U.S. National Security Regulatory Agency CFIUS continued to review TikTok, all of these things had already begun-Trump seemed to bypass the process of issuing executive orders on the application. Mnuchin said that the CFIUS technical team will review the proposal with Oracle and ByteDance this week, and the agency will then issue a recommendation to President Trump on whether to approve the transaction. He also said that as part of the recommendation, TikTok promised Will create 20,000 new jobs in the United States.

Another key player in all of this is the Chinese government. According to reports, it has previously stated that it will not let ByteDance sell its secret sauce (its proprietary Therefore, from the perspective of ByteDance, the partial sale of Oracle that does not include precious algorithms is a win-win situation for the US and Chinese governments.

However, what is the purpose of the mandatory sale of the executive order ?? Even if Trump has no intention of actually implementing this order, even if these national security issues are not serious enough, it cannot ensure that TikTok US is sold first.

Oracle’s friendly relationship with Trump can help its prospects for a deal with TikTok[19659023] Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and CEO Safra Catz are rare supporters of Trump among most liberal Silicon Valley technology executives (Facebook Board member Peter Thiel is another notable exception.)

In February, Ellison hosted a large-scale fundraiser for Trump in Coachella Valley’s personal property. Card. When Catz took office, he was one of the few major technology CEOs to serve on Trump’s transition team.

In August, when it was first reported that Oracle was considering bidding for TikTok, Trump said Agree, calling Oracle "a great

Catz and Ellison’s support for Trump does not always get along well with Oracle’s mainly liberal employees, many of whom are immigrants working on H1B engineering visas. And his legal residence status is threatened by Trump's anti-immigration policies.

The close relationship between the Oracle leadership and Trump is causing people to question whether this played a role in TikTok's new plans for the future of the United States.

"I think Chesney said: "Oracle and their relationship with the government is surprising. Now, what kind of level playing field is this? "" Chesney said, but this is all speculation, because the terms of the transaction are still unknown. It is entirely possible that Oracle will offer a higher offer or better terms than Microsoft.

Chesney also suggested, maybe ByteDance believes that Oracle is the company most likely to appease the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Even some Oracle employees (who admittedly disapproving of the relationship between company leaders and the Trump administration) are also reviewing TikTok transactions. As of noon on Monday , Monday’s employees did not hear the internal news of Oracle’s leadership and they are looking for details.

On Monday, an employee commented at a meeting that they were worried that if they thought Oracle “recruiting friends to the company, then their Ability" According to internal Slack news seen by Recode, the news colluded with the corruption of the Trump administration. The news conveyed this comment.

"I think this is kissing Trump’s ass and further undermining This gave them one more reason to hate us in the developer community. "An employee who did not want to be named said that because he was worried about being unemployed due to public criticism of the company, he did not want to be named.

Another employee said that many colleagues were "full of taste for the whole process," because of special "All the roles of the Trump administration and the close relationship between Larry and Safra and Trump. It just makes us think this is business. "But in the end, the employee said that the deal with TikTok might be a good business for the company.

"As someone with stocks, I don't hate that part of it now," the employee said

Trump’s approach throughout the process has aroused concerns about the rule of law.

To some extent, the TikTok situation is simply Trump’s long-term trade between China and the United States during his presidency. Another manifestation of the war. For a long time, China has banned American consumer technology companies like Facebook and Google from doing business in the country. In turn, Trump has restricted Huawei and other Chinese technology companies from doing business in the United States. This type of economy Sanctions are a standard foreign policy strategy in the President’s arsenal.

But in what way did Trump force the implementation of this TikTok agreement-issue unexpected and confusing executive orders, issue conflicting statements to the press, and publicly imply TikTok The U.S. government should essentially be bribed to increase the price of the agreement. It is now considered to reach an agreement on the terms Trump initially vetoed until the business leaders who supported him in the past made similar proposals. Worrying worries

TikTok is still a popular consumer app with 100 million US users, so its fans are worried about whether the US government might actually shut down TikTok.

For users, if Trump’s approval of Oracle’s bid may not change much, because the data company is responsible for managing the data on the back end and should not change the actual look or feel of the TikTok application to users.

People worry about how Oracle will do Use this data and whether it will be used for other operations. But, given all the twists and turns that led to this politically complex transaction, at this point, the next exact change in the TikTok-Trump saga is anyone’s guess

Theodore Schleifer contributed to this article.


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