Discord arises over US lifeline for TikTok
DOUBTS have been cast over the latest deal to prevent TikTok being banned in the US, after its Chinese owner insisted it will maintain majority control and state media in China said the government will not approve its sale.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, said yesterday that Beijing would not approve an agreement between ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, and Oracle and Walmart, because the deal “would endanger China’s national security, interests and dignity”.
ByteDance said on Chinese social media that the newly formed TikTok Global would be a “100pc” subsidiary, an apparent contradiction to statements made by Oracle and president Donald Trump, who told Fox News that “[ByteDance] will have nothing to do with it, and if they do we just won’t make a deal”.
As part of the agreement, announced on Saturday, Oracle and Walmart are reported to have rights to buy 12.5pc and 7.5pc, respectively, of a newly established TikTok Global.
ByteDance would own the remaining 80pc. However, around 40pc of ByteDance’s ownership is private American financiers, which effectively means TikTok Global will be majority-owned by the US.
“Upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners; Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global,” Ken Glueck, Oracle’s executive vice president, said yesterday.
TikTok has more than 800m users worldwide and around 100m in the US alone.