Tech giant Oracle won a bidding war for control of the U.S. operations of the widely popular Chinese-owned app TikTok on Sunday, according to multiple news reports.
News of Oracle’s purchase came just minutes after Microsoft, a top competitor for the sale, announced that TikTok parent company ByteDance had informed it that the company’s bid had been rejected.
Microsoft’s statement marked an end to a bid that had been backed by GOP senators and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump slams Nevada governor at rally, takes aim at mail-in voting Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren slams Trump pandemic response, throws support to Biden Watch Live: Trump rallies supporters in Nevada MORE and seen as a solution to the latter’s threat to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. unless it was sold to a U.S. buyer. The Trump administration has raised national security concerns about the app and its owner over its alleged connections to China’s government.
“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” read Microsoft’s statement.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement,” the company continued.
TikTok has vowed to battle the Trump administration’s order banning it from operating in the U.S. Microsoft said in early August that it was moving forward with plans to purchase the app, while pledging a security review.
“Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform,”said a TikTok spokesperson in late July. “We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged the Justice Department to open an investigation into TikTok, citing data privacy concerns.
“As tens of millions of Americans turn to Zoom and TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, few know that the privacy of their data and their freedom of expression is under threat due to the relationship of these companies to the Chinese government,” Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over ‘Cuties’ film The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Woodward book rattles Trump Hawley scolds Disney for filming ‘Mulan’ in Chinese region home to ‘concentration camps’ MORE (R-Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to the agency in July. “Of particular concern, both Zoom and TikTok have sought to conceal and distract from their meaningful ties to China, holding themselves out as American companies.”