Who are the TikTok saga’s biggest winners?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S demand in August that ByteDance sell TikTok to an American firm set off a race for the Chinese firm’s trophy asset. Jockeying for the popular short-video app’s American business, with 100m users, was fierce. Microsoft seemed ahead, and got a late fillip when Walmart joined its bid. But the software-and-grocery duo was pipped to the post. On September 14th Oracle, a database firm, signalled it had brokered a deal.

Oracle’s clinching argument in its favour seems to have been its rapport with the White House. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and chairman, hosted a fund-raiser for Mr Trump. The firm’s boss, Safra Catz, served on his transition team in 2016. “She lobbied a lot in Washington and she did a great job,” says a ByteDance investor. Oracle also enlisted the firm’s powerful American venture-capital backers, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic.

Details of the planned transaction are still being ironed out. But it looks like a U-turn for Mr Trump, who for months seemed hellbent on a full sale of TikTok by ByteDance—which the Oracle deal is not. His stated reasons concerned national security: the risk of TikTok handing Americans’ data over to China’s Communist Party and of running disinformation campaigns on behalf of China. (TikTok insisted it would never hand users’ data...

via Business Feeds

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