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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Trump nod to Oracle’s TikTok bid

Parent firm ByteDance seeks a valuation of $60 billion for the app

Donald Trump gave his blessing to Oracle Corp.’s bid for the American operations of TikTok, putting the popular video-sharing app on course to escape a US ban imposed as part of his pressure campaign against China.

“I approved the deal in concept," Trump told reporters Saturday as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too."

The new company, which will be called TikTok Global, has agreed to funnel $5 billion in new tax dollars to the U.S. and set up a new education fund, which Trump said would satisfy his demand that the government receive a payment from the deal. “They’re going to be setting up a very large fund," he said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for."

Oracle plans to take a 12.5% stake in the new TikTok Global, while Walmart Inc. said it has tentatively agreed to buy 7.5% of the entity. Walmart’s chief executive officer Doug McMillon will serve on TikTok Global’s board of directors, the retailer said in a statement. Four of the five board seats will be filled by Americans, according to the statement.

TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance Ltd is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for the app, according to a person familiar with the matter. Oracle and Walmart would pay a combined $12 billion for their stakes if they agree to that asking price. The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity structure and measures for data security, the person said

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