Microsoft Corp. is not the only company interested in buying TikTok’s U.S. operations. The Financial Times (FT) reports Oracle Corp., the Redwood City, Calif.-based computer software company, is working with investors to outbid Microsoft.
Sources told the newspaper that Oracle is working with a group of venture capital firms that already own a stake in ByteDance to close the deal, including General Atlantic, the New York-based growth equity firm, and Sequoia Capital, the Menlo Park, California venture capital company focused on the technology industry.
TikTok and Oracle declined to comment.
Last week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to force ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to sell the company’s popular video-sharing app. The president gave the Chinese company 90 days to sell or spin off its U.S. operation.
“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump said in his order.
Oracle, co-founded by 76-year-old Lawrence Ellison, has held preliminary talks with ByteDance, and is considering purchasing the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the sources told FT.
The president had previously issued an order requiring U.S. stores to stop distributing the TikTok app if ByteDance failed to reach a deal to divest within 45 days.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported while Microsoft Corp. is still seen as the front-runner, Twitter has also held preliminary talks with the popular Chinese app that allows users to craft and post short videos to combine the two mega social media platforms.
But with a market capitalization of about $29 billion, Twitter pales in comparison to Microsoft’s more than $1.6 trillion. If Twitter was to do a deal, the company would need some financial backing.
While intense negotiations are underway behind the scenes, one thing is clear: TikTok reached 2 billion downloads worldwide this year, and ByteDance has said the app is “loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment.”