President Donald Trump said Saturday he offered his “blessing” to a potential agreement that would see Oracle and Walmart collaborate with the popular video-sharing app TikTok to create a U.S. business.
In the current flashpoint in the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing, Trump has criticised Chinese-owned TikTok for national security and data privacy issues. Support for an offer from the president comes only a day after the Commerce Department revealed limits that could potentially make it virtually impossible for TikTok’s legions of younger users to access the app if set in place.
Trump said that once the transaction were concluded a new corporation would likely be headquartered in Texas will be formed.
“I gave my blessing to the contract” he said. “If they have it done, it’s amazing. If they’re not, so that’s OK too.
Trump said the new business would employ at least 25,000 employees and donate $5 billion to a fund devoted to American education. “That is their contribution for which I have been calling,” he said.
TikTok said Oracle and Walmart might buy up to a combined 20 percent interest in the new business in a fundraising round to be held before an initial public stock offering, which Walmart said would happen within the next year. The share of Oracle would be 12.5 percent, and the firms stated in separate announcements that Walmart’s would be 7.5 percent.
The contract would make Oracle responsible for storing all U.S. consumer data from TikTok, and protecting information networks to ensure compliance with U.S. national security requirements. Walmart said it would support the new business with its e-commerce, distribution, payments and other services.
“We are glad that TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart’s plan would address the US administration’s security issues and address questions about the future of TikTok in the U.S.,” TikTok said in a statement.
Trump requested that TikTok ‘s U.S. assets be sold to a U.S. corporation, or shut down. Also, he’s been hitting WeChat, another platform operated by China.
The administration says the consumer data from the two applications may be exchanged with the Chinese government. Trump said the U.S.-based TikTok on Saturday, “would have nothing to do with China.” TikTok claims it has 100 million U.S. customers.
The USA on Friday Department of Commerce said late Sunday it will ban TikTok from U.S. app stores. Further sanctions that would prohibit TikTok from accessing the country’s vital internet resources would take effect on 12 November. Commerce said Saturday that the TikTok ban from U.S. app stores would be postponed until Sept. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
Commerce puts similar limitations on WeChat, but all the prohibitions on that application are scheduled to come into place at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night.
WeChat users had urged a U.S. judge to block the behaviour of the government earlier Saturday, arguing they would limit free expression. With text messaging , social media and other networking platforms, WeChat is an all-in-one software. The U.S. government claimed that free expression is not limited, since WeChat users are always “free to speak on alternate sites that do not pose a danger to national security.”
US. U.S. Judge Magistrate Laurel Beeler asked government lawyers and WeChat users if the restrictions would cripple WeChat as soon as the clock ticked without a resolution from Sunday night through Monday morning. One government attorney said they’d definitely contribute to WeChat’s “degradation” over time.
Judge Beeler did not rule on the motion right away.
WeChat has millions of U.S. users who rely on the app to keep in contact with individuals and businesses in China and around the world and transact business. The founder of the Mental Health Foundation for Chinese Societies, who is a U.S. resident in California, said in legal documents that WeChat is the primary method of the community to reach out and connect Chinese Americans with services.
“Since many of the Chinese community members we represent don’t speak English fluently, WeChat is the only online service they focus on,” Elaine Peng said.
The offensive policies of the Trump administration are part of their new effort to fight China, a growing economic superpower,’s influence. Trump has fought a trade war with China since taking office in 2017, blocking mergers among Chinese firms and stifling the company of Chinese companies such as Huawei, a producer of phones and telecommunications equipment.
Meanwhile, China-backed hackers have been blamed for U.S. federal website and credit service Equifax data hacks and the Chinese government is tightly restricting what U.S. tech firms can do in China.
China’s trade ministry condemned and encouraged the U.S. moves to curb what it called abusive behaviour. China could also take “appropriate steps” to protect Chinese enterprises, it said.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Saturday that TikTok ‘s agreement also needs to be negotiated with Oracle and Walmart, and that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment still wants paperwork and requirements to be accepted.
Of course, it also leaves the opportunity for TikTok users to get more roller coasters of feeling, such as Haley Hoffman Smith, a 24-year-old who relocated to Manhattan this year to fulfil her goal of becoming a host of talk shows. She said she had just passed TikTok’s 100,000 fans, and was crushed on Friday to hear it could be heading for a shut down.
“TikTok is an inseparable part of my dream story,” she said, “and it will not only be an awkward loss, but a total heartbreak to lose it forever.”