The deal that the software company Oracle made with the Chinese company ByteDance over the social media app TikTok is not enough to allay the concerns of the US government. ByteDance’s access to user data and the influence of China on the company remain questionable, writes the Bloomberg news agency based on insiders.
These concerns have been voiced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, among others. His colleagues William Barr of Justice and Steven Mnuchin of Treasury have also been informed of the proposed deal and are now examining it. Ultimately, President Donald Trump makes a decision to approve the deal.
The latter said at a press conference at the White House on Wednesday that his administration had not yet made a decision on the deal. Trump stressed that he wanted to avoid loopholes. The deal must be “100 percent” national security, said the president, who further assured that “he is not ready to sign anything”. He says he will receive a report on the contents of the agreement on Thursday morning local time.
For security reasons, TikTok had to be sold from the USA to an American company. The Americans believe that the Chinese government will have access to the data of the users of the popular video app as long as it is in the hands of the Chinese ByteDance. This company spoke to Microsoft, among others, but eventually reached an agreement with Oracle.
This deal is nowhere near a takeover. ByteDance would place all of TikTok’s operations, not just American ones, in a US-based company. User data would also be stored in the USA. Oracle will then be included in the storage and operation of the American company TikTok. The software maker would also take a minority stake in it, but ByteDance owns more than half of the company.