It has not even been 48 hours since the TikTok-Oracle-Walmart deal was announced and we have already run into a new road bump. In a new turn of events, Oracle claims TikTok parent ByteDance will not own any shares in the new entity ‘TikTok Global’, completely contradicting the Chinese firm’s claims which suggest that it will still retain 80% of the platform.
In a blog post on September 20, TikTok said, “We’re pleased that today we’ve confirmed a proposal that resolves the Administration’s security concerns and settles questions around TikTok’s future in the US. Both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand the US as TikTok Global’s headquarters while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.”
Now, I don’t know about you but that seems like an ending note to me. After months of fighting, it finally seemed like the whole America vs TikTok war was over. Alas, I was too naive, and that’s why, couldn’t see the new twist coming.
Now, Ken Glueck, executive vice president at Oracle has said, ” Upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global”. So according to Oracle, the deal is in line with Donald Trump’s claims that TikTok will be completely owned by American firms without any Chinese interference.
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 21, 2020
However, the current parent company of the platform-ByteDance, has a completely different story to tell. According to the Chinese tech giant, it will still retain 80% of the company, and the rest will be divided amongst Oracle and Walmart. More specifically, Oracle will own a 12.5%, and act as ByteDance’s technical partner, with Walmart claiming the rest of the 7.5%, its commercial partner, at least according to ByteDance.
This news now puts a whole new confusion into our minds and adds to the never-ending problems of TikTok in the US. Ever since Donald Trump announced the ban of the app, until it actually got banned by the US Department of Commerce, ByteDance has been facing one problem after another in the country. The Chinese firm somehow managed to broker a deal with Oracle and Walmart after a long series of speculations, where Oracle was to handle the app’s cloud services and Walmart, the marketing and commercial.
However, with this new fiasco, who knows what’s the truth? What deal did President Trump even sign on if the buyer and the seller can’t even agree on a draft? We hope that things clear up in a few days.