The Trump vs TikTok war has taken a new turn as the Chinese social media app announced a new deal with Oracle and Walmart that will help keep its foot on the US soil. TikTok’s interim head Vanessa Pappas announced on Saturday that Walmart and Oracle will participate in a pre-IPO financing round and may take up to 20% in combined stocks.
TikTok’s owner ByteDance is proposing a valuation of the app close to $60 billion; however, the actual numbers might differ as the deal finalizes.
She added that TikTok Global headquarters would remain in the US, and the company will also work on creating 25,000 jobs across the nation. TikTok Global will be a new company in which Oracle and Walmart will pump a total of $12 billion for the stake.
The move came hours before new app downloads for TikTok and WeChat were about to be banned. As per a Bloomberg report, President Trump has given an initial nod to the deal, and the US Commerce Department delayed the download ban by a week.
“I approved the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too,” Trump told the reporters at the White House on Saturday.
In the past, the video-sharing app has been accused of being backdoor access to the Chinese government. Pappas also said the Oracle, which TikTok calls its Trusted Tech Partner, will provide the cloud infrastructure to store all of TikTok’s data in the US.
Furthermore, Oracle will get access to TikTok’s source code and software updates so that it can look for any signs of backdoor or spying activity, according to Bloomberg.
No Algorithm Transfer, says ByteDance
While the deal might progress sooner or later, ByteDance has added one big twist. The Chinese company said it won’t transfer the artificial intelligence algorithms and technologies used in TikTok as part of the deal.
“The current plan does not involve the transfer of any algorithms and technologies. Oracle has the authority to check the source code of TikTok USA,” the company said in a statement, according to CNBC.