Trump gives blessing to deal to allow TikTok to continue to operate in U.S

By David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper and Echo Wang WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he supports a deal that will allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app in August. He told reporters at the White House he backs the deal with TikTok owner ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart to create a new company that will assume TikTok's U.S.

Reuters September 20, 2020 06:10:08 IST
Trump gives blessing to deal to allow TikTok to continue to operate in U.S

Trump gives blessing to deal to allow TikTok to continue to operate in US

By David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper and Echo Wang

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he supports a deal that will allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app in August.

He told reporters at the White House he backs the deal with TikTok owner ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart to create a new company that will assume TikTok's U.S. operations called TikTok Global.

Trump said the new company will be "totally controlled by Oracle and Walmart ... All of the control is Oracle and Walmart."

U.S. shareholders are expected to control 53% of TikTok Global, a person briefed on the matter said, while Chinese investors will hold 36%.

Oracle said it will take a 12.5% stake in TikTok Global.

TikTok said under the deal, 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.

The source said the remaining 80% of shares will be distributed to ByteDance investors, a source briefed on the matter said.

U.S. investors currently own about 40% of Bytedance.

Tiktok said it was "pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. Administration and settle questions around TikTok's future in the U.S."

Tiktok said Oracle will become the company's "trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all U.S. user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure U.S. national security requirements are fully satisfied."

Trump offered strong support for the deal he said would create 25,000 U.S. jobs. "I have given the deal my blessing," Trump said. "I approve the deal in concept."

About 100 million Americans use TikTok and U.S. officials have expressed concern about user data and the potential for China to access that data.

"The security will be 100%," Trump told reporters.

Reuters reported on Thursday that TikTok Global will have a majority of American directors, a U.S. chief executive and a security expert on the board.

Oracle and Walmart are expected to take significant equity stakes and ByteDance has agreed to significant security safeguards on the data of U.S. users with Oracle housing all data and getting the right to inspect the TikTok source code.

Walmart did not immediately comment.

The Commerce Department said on Saturday it will delay by one week an order that had been set to take effect late Sunday that would stop Alphabet Inc's Google and Apple Inc from offering TikTok in their U.S. app stores.

Trump expressed annoyance this week that government lawyers told him it was not permissible to demand a "chunk" of any TikTok sales price for the Treasury.

He said there would be a $5 billion U.S. education fund as part of the deal. "That's their contribution I've been asking for," Trump said.

He said the new company will most likely be incorporated in Texas and have at least 25,000 employees.

Reuters reported on Thursday that ByteDance is planning a U.S. initial public offering of TikTok Global. The filing of an IPO for TikTok Global would be on a U.S. stock exchange and could come in about a year, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Part of the proceeds from the IPO are expected to be used to finance the $5 billion education fund, the source said. ByteDance and Oracle did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China still must approve the deal. "We'll see whether or not it all happens," Trump said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said earlier on Twitter that he had talked to Trump about the deal. "I let him know that if he approves the deal Texas would be the perfect place for the HQ," Abbott said.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.