Oracle has joined the race to acquire US business of popular Chinese-owned short video app TikTok, The Financial Times reported.
According to the FT report, Larry Ellison’s enterprise software giant has held preliminary talks with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. Oracle is said to be planning a joint bid with venture capital firms including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital who already have a stake in the Chinese firm. Oracle is said to be preparing a bid for Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations of TikTok.
Last week, US President Donald Trump ordered ByteDance to divest the US operations of its video-sharing app TikTok within 90 days.
Till now Microsoft has so far been viewed as a front-runner to buy the US operation despite company ’s co-founder Bill Gates holding out a caution against the proposed deal. Microsoft is said to be particularly keen on buying TikTok operations in Europe and India. Twitter is currently banned in India.
Last month, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) directed the 59 banned Chinese apps to strictly adhere to the orders or face serious action in case of violation.
The government banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community in June over national security concerns amid the border tussle at Ladakh which also led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops.
The Wall Street Journal had reported that micro-blogging platform Twitter was also considering a bid for TikTok. However analysts sounded sceptical on the viability of any such deal given Twitter’s own financial position. Twitter’s market capitalization is about $29 billion while Microsoft’s is more than $1.6 trillion. The valuation of TikTok’s U.S. operations itself would run into the tens of billions of dollars.
Oracle’s billionaire co-founder Ellison is one of the few US tech executives who has openly supported Trump, though it’s not clear whether Oracle would be the White House’s preferred suitor for TikTok.
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