Oracle said Monday that the Chinese owner of TikTok has picked the U.S. company to be its “trusted technology provider,” beating out rival Microsoft in a deal that could help keep the popular video-sharing app running in the U.S.
Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said she was confirming remarks made by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told CNBC on Monday that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, submitted its proposal to the U.S. government.
“We did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner, with Oracle making many representations for national security issues,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin said there’s also a commitment to make TikTok’s global operations a U.S.-headquartered company with 20,000 new jobs.
TikTok said in a statement Monday that its proposal to the Treasury Department should “resolve the Administration’s security concerns” and emphasized the importance of its app to the 100 million users it claims in the U.S.
President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to ban TikTok by Sept. 20 and ordered owner ByteDance to sell its U.S. business, claiming national security risks due to its Chinese ownership. The government worries about user data being funneled to Chinese authorities. TikTok denies it is a national security risk and is suing to stop the administration from enacting the threatened ban.
Much remains unclear about the proposed deal with Oracle, which is pointedly not referring to it as a sale or acquisition.
Any deal must still be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, a U.S. government group chaired by the Treasury Secretary that studies mergers for national security reasons. Mnuchin said he expects the group to review the proposal this week and later make a recommendation to the president.
The president can approve or deny a transaction recommended by the panel, though Trump has voiced support for Oracle as a “great company” that could handle the acquisition.
If the arrangement is approved by the U.S. government, TikTok would be allowed to continue operating.
Microsoft said in a Sunday statement that ByteDance “let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft.”
Proposals to acquire TikTok’s U.S. business raised questions among outside observers about how it would be split from the rest of TikTok’s social media platform, which is popular worldwide. ByteDance also owns a similar video app, Douyin, for the Chinese market.
Microsoft added it was “confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests.” The company said it “would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation.”
Walmart, which had planned to partner with Microsoft on the acquisition, said Sunday it “continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment” and is talking about it with ByteDance and other parties.