TikTok downloads weren’t blocked in the US over the weekend after all, but the app’s future in the market is still in doubt.
ByteDance insisted today (September 21) that it will retain control of TikTok in the US as part of a proposed deal with US companies Oracle and Walmart.
But, Donald Trump, speaking to Fox news today, said that “if we find that they don’t have total control then we’re not going to approve the deal”.
To recap the weekend’s rapidly developing TikTok news, a press release was issued by Walmart and Oracle on Saturday (September 19) stating that “The President has announced that ByteDance has received tentative approval for an agreement with the US Government”.
This came after Friday’s news that a download ban would come into effect in the US as of Sunday.
The US Department of Commerce also issued a statement on Saturday announcing that this action will be delayed until September 27 “in light of recent positive developments”. Donald Trump said over the weekend that he’s given the deal his “blessing”.
The proposed deal (as explained in the statements issued over the weekend) would see Walmart and Oracle buy a cumulative 20% stake in a newly formed company called TikTok Global, which will have a US HQ, with four Americans out of the five member Board of Directors.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon will serve as one of the Board members of the newly created company, which will seek to have an IPO “in less than 12 months” and be listed on a US Exchange.
Oracle and Walmart will take a 12.5% and 7.5% stake in TikTok Global, respectively.
The messaging from all sides then gets slightly confusing:
According to a release published by both Oracle and Walmart: “TikTok Global will be majority owned by American investors, including Oracle and Walmart. TikTok Global will be an independent American company, headquartered in the U.S.”
However, ByteDance published a blog post today (September 21) confirming that the three companies “have formed a principled consensus” on TikTok, but the company insists that it won’t be losing control of TikTok.
According to ByteDance: “TikTok Global is a 100% owned subsidiary of ByteDance, headquartered in the United States”.
It adds: “TikTok Global plans to launch a small round of Pre-IPO financing. After the financing, TikTok Global will become an 80% holding subsidiary of ByteDance”.
Meanwhile, as reported by TechCrunch, a new statement issued by Oracle and attributed to its Executive Vice President Ken Glueck, said that: “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.”
In addition, as reported by the likes of Bloomberg and CNBC earlier today, Trump’s most recent comments on the matter have now thrown the entire deal into doubt after telling Fox News that TikTok is “going to be controlled, totally controlled by Oracle, and I guess they’re going public and they’re buying out the rest of it”.
He added: “They’re buying out a lot, and if we find that they don’t have total control then we’re not going to approve the deal.”
This story will be updated as it develops.Music Business Worldwide