- President Trump backed an Oracle acquisition of Chinese-owned video app TikTok, which has until November 12 to sell off its US business or face a ban.
- Trump told reporters on Tuesday that Oracle was “a great company” and that it “could handle it.” He added that Oracle had until mid-September to conclude a deal for TikTok.
- Oracle’s cofounder and executive chairman, Larry Ellison, is a Trump supporter who held a fundraiser for the president in February 2020.
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President Trump has backed Oracle’s bid to buy TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video app that must sell its US business within months or face a ban in the country.
The Financial Times first reported Tuesday that the software giant had entered the race to buy TikTok. It is working with US VC firms such as Sequoia Capital and General Catalyst, both investors in TikTok parent ByteDance.
Asked on Tuesday what he thought of Oracle, Trump said: “Well, I think Oracle is a great company, and I think its owner is a tremendous guy. He’s a tremendous person. I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it. Yeah. We gave them until September 15.”
Trump appears to be referring to Oracle cofounder and executive chairman Larry Ellison, who owns more than a billion shares in Oracle. He is a high-profile Trump supporter, and held a fundraiser for the president in February, leading to a walkout by Oracle employees.
It isn’t clear how close Oracle is to striking a deal.
Microsoft confirmed at the beginning of August that it was in talks to buy TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, alongside other potential investors. CEO Satya Nadella has spoken to Trump directly about the deal.
The negotiations follow Trump issuing two executive orders targeting ByteDance.
The first bans US companies or individuals from “transacting” with ByteDance and sets a 45-day deadline for the Chinese company to strike a deal to sell off TikTok’s US business. A second executive order sets a 90-day deadline on completion of a deal. The Trump administration claims TikTok is a national security threat because of its ties to China, something the company has consistently denied.
TikTok has threatened to take the administration to court over the executive orders. Separately, TikTok’s US employees are preparing a lawsuit against the admnistration because they fear the orders mean they won’t get paid.