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Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison, left, is looking to make the company a “trusted technology partner” to TikTok after ByteDance turned down an acquisition bid from Walmart and Microsoft, led by Satya Nadella, right. (Oracle and GeekWire File Photos)

Microsoft’s bid for TikTok fell through after the tech giant insisted on acquiring full control of the social video app’s U.S. operations, data, source code and algorithms, declining to settle for a lesser deal that didn’t put those key assets in its hands.

That’s one of the details that emerged overnight after Microsoft said Sunday afternoon that TikTok’s parent, Beijing-based ByteDance,declined the offer from Microsoft and Walmart to acquire TikTokfor a reported $20 billion to $30 billion.

The Chinese company, under pressure from the Trump administration to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations due to national security concerns, has instead submitted a proposal that makes rival bidder Oracle a “trusted technology partner,” reportedly seeking to avoid the outright sale of TikTok in the country.

早些时候Microsoft’s bid for TikTok rejected by ByteDance as reports name Oracle the winner of modified deal

That type of arms-length arrangement made Microsoft uneasy on a variety of fronts, a person familiar with the discussions told GeekWire.


“While most major international social media platforms have traditionally taken a cautious and public approach to content moderation, TikTok is the first globally popular social media network to take a heavy-handed approach to content moderation,” the ASPI report said. “Possessing and deploying the capability to covertly control information flows, across geographical regions, topics and languages, positions TikTok as a powerful political actor with a global reach.”


微软总裁布拉德Smith also cited concerns about disinformation and Chinese access to TikTok’s datain an interview with the New York Times

财政部秘书史蒂文·穆辛与唐纳德特朗普总统和副总裁Mike Plence在4月份的白宫简报。(Official White House Photo,D. Myles Cullen)

The details of the alternative ByteDance proposal and tech partnership with Oracle haven’t been yet been made public, and it’s not clear if the plan will satisfy President Trump’s concerns. The president has threatened to ban TikTok in the United States if ByteDance continues to control the app in the country. While the original deadline for an acquisition was Sept. 15, as noted in Microsoft’s original statement on the talks, President Trump’ssubsequent executive orderput the deadline at Sept. 20.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin今天早上在CNBC上说政府正在审查该提案。“I will just say from our standpoint, we’ll need to make sure that the code is, one, secure, Americans’ data is secure, that the phones are secure and we’ll be looking to have discussions with Oracle over the next few days with our technical teams.”

Oracle, the longtime database technology company, doesn’t have extensive experience running consumer technologies, but it has been寻求积极扩展其云运营in competition with Amazon, Microsoft and Google. It’s also in a position of influence with the administration. Oracle CEO Safra Catzwas a member of the Trump transition team,oracle联合创始人和CTO拉里埃里森对于特朗普的重选竞选活动来说是一个着名的筹款机构。

To a lesser extent, Microsoft was also viewed as an odd fit for acquiring TikTok. While the Redmond company does have more experience with consumer businesses, as the owner of Xbox, Windows, Bing and other technologies, it has largely focused on business and individual productivity technologies under CEO Satya Nadella.


Depending on the purchase price and the arrangement with Walmart, the TikTok acquisition would have been one the largest in Microsoft’s history, potentially rivaling or surpassingits $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016那but still far less than Microsoft’s failed attempt to purchase Yahoo for more than $44 billion in 2008.

Given the potential distractions and complications of a TikTok acquisition, one popular view is that the Redmond company is better off without it.


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