WASHINGTON – The Chinese company that owns TikTok has accepted the Trump administration’s changes to a deal designed to alleviate White House concerns that the popular app poses a national security threat.
The finance department, who runs a group that reviews the deal for national security purposes, TikTok’s owner provided ByteDance, with revisions to his proposal on Wednesday, said one of the people. Some of the revisions should address how TikTok’s data and source code are handled and backed up, one respondent said. The two sides have agreed in principle, but are still discussing some technical details, said the other person.
The exact ownership structure of TikTok as part of the planned deal is unclear. President Trump and some members of his administration have stated that ByteDance cannot retain a controlling stake in TikTok if their concerns are to be met. Oracle, the company software maker in Silicon Valley, is should become technology partner for TikTok People with knowledge of the situation have said that while they may take a stake in the app, they will not fully own it.
Any decision about ownership could involve tricky math. The percentage of TikTok owned by non-American interests depends in part on how officials treat the portion of ByteDance, a privately held company already backed by American investors, one person said.
TikTok would also go public on an American stock exchange in about a year if the deal got through, the person said. While this plan is not a formal part of the proposal under consideration by the government, the Trump administration is aware of it, the person said.
The deal still requires approval from Mr. Trump. The President had not been informed of this until early Thursday afternoon. A person familiar with the deliberations said the meeting was not planned but would take place “soon”.
A Executive order signed by Mr. Trump In essence, TikTok will have to close a deal to sell its US operations by Sunday or it risks halting all US commercial transactions. TikTok has become a point of contention between the US and China, who have increasingly battled for trade, security, and technology dominance.
Some Republican lawmakers, like Senators Marco Rubio from Florida, Thom Tillis from North Carolina, and John Cornyn from Texas, have criticized every deal This would leave ByteDance in control of TikTok’s code or algorithms, as that is not enough to address national security concerns. This has raised questions about whether Mr Trump could face criticism of the Oracle TikTok proposal if he was re-elected.
TikTok and a finance spokeswoman declined to comment. Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ByteDance accepts the Treasury Department’s changes to its proposal was reported earlier by Bloomberg. The plan to bring TikTok to the public was reported earlier from CNBC.
As TikTok rushes to secure a deal, it’s also looking for a permanent executive to replace Kevin Mayer resigned In late August, citing the role’s changing political pressures. Vanessa Pappas, the general manager of TikTok in North America, took over in the meantime.
Some of those TikTok spoke to about the job include Kevin Systrom, founder and former CEO of Instagram. The talks are preliminary and no final decisions have been made.
The contracting parties expect to appoint an American executive director of the new TikTok unit, said a person familiar with the matter.
Mr Systrom left Instagram, which owns Facebook, in 2018. He didn’t respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
David McCabe and Ana Swanson reported from Washington and Erin Griffith and Mike Isaac from San Francisco.
This is a developing story. Check for updates again.