Overnight TikTok seemed resigned to selling its American assets to a US company (as ordered by the Trump government). But an agreement with the software house Oracle – which the American media took for granted – was denied by the Chinese state broadcaster China Global Television Network.
Immediately afterwards, the spokesman for the Chinese foreign minister targeted the United States: “The hunt for TikTok in the US – said Wang Wenbin – it is a typical example of US government extortion. China strongly opposes this act and will firmly support the company concerned to protect its legal rights and interests. “And again: we do not accept” American bullying “.
Thus the company founded by Bill Gates
“ByteDance let us know today that it does not intend to sell the US business to Microsoft.” The last episode of the TikTok affair began on the Italian night with a note published on the official blog of the group led by Satya Nadella. “We believe our proposal would have been good for TikTok users, while protecting national security interests at the same time.”
TikTok was hit last month by an order to sell its assets in the United States (by September 15) complete with a ban on operating in the United States that would kick off on September 29.
The agreement must, however, be finalized by 12 November next. With the exclusion of Microsoft, many observers placed Oracle in the front row, a Sylicon Valley group closely linked to the Trump administration.
Under the proposed agreement cited by Reuters sources, Oracle proposed itself as a technology partner and would take over the data management of US users of TikTok. The Wall Street Journal also gave Oracle the top favorite in the role of “reliable” partner of the Chinese. But – as mentioned – denials rained down from China and then frontal attacks on Trump.
Trump’s ultimatum set for September 15
The sale of the US assets of TikTok – of the Chinese ByteDance – will not be extended beyond the 15th. This was confirmed by the president of the United States, Donald Trump, at a press conference. “We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “Either we will close TikTok in this country for security reasons or it will be sold. I’m not extending the deadlines, it’s September 15. There will be no extension of TikTok’s deadline.”
Trump had signed a decree banning transactions with the Chinese owners of the TikTok and WeChat apps and thus effectively pushing the Chinese ByteDance to sell its stake in TikTok operations in the US.
Larry Ellison, one of the few supporters Donald Trump finds himself around Silicon Valley, took the field in August. Oracle, the company of the 76-year-old entrepreneur credited with a fortune of nearly 65 billion dollars (12th position on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), would have contacted a group of American funds – including General Atlantic and Sequoia – to challenge Microsoft, which had already declared at the beginning of August its interest in the activities of the application being discontinued: in addition to those in the United States, the package also includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Boom of users in Europe
Meanwhile, the Chinese application is consolidated in Europe. Over 100 million people are active every month on TikTok in the Old Continent. “What we are experiencing is a very special time for all of us. Even in this context, we can say that it has been an extraordinary year for our company,” says Rich Waterworth, General Manager Europe of TikTok, in making the announcement.
In Italy, where the social network landed in October 2018, 236 videos per minute are published on average – according to official company data. There are no certain data on the number of Italian users. According to the findings of the company ComScore – which refer to the period from September to November 2019 – there are 6.4 million unique users.