ByteDance’s TikTok deal with Oracle unlikely to get Beijing’s approval

Photo: Kon Karampelas /Unsplash

A deal China’s ByteDance has struck with Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc over the future of its video-streaming app TikTok is unlikely to receive Chinese government approval, state-backed newspaper Global Times said in an editorial.

ByteDance has said it will create a U.S. subsidiary, TikTok Global, that will be part-owned by Oracle and Walmart – which in turn said TikTok Global‘s board would comprise mainly Americans – to pacify the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump which had planned to ban TikTok on security grounds.

“It is clear that these articles (terms) extensively show Washington’s bullying style and hooligan logic. They hurt China’s national security, interests and dignity,” said the English version of the editorial published late on Monday and which was also carried in the newspaper’s Chinese edition.

The unidentified author objected to a requirement that four of the five board seats of TikTok Global be occupied by Americans and only one reserved for a Chinese national, as well as the inclusion of a U.S-approved “national security director”.

It also denounced a requirement that ByteDance reveal TikTok‘s source code to Oracle as part of the latter’s stake purchase, as well as the separate management of TikTok from Chinese equivalent Douyin.

“As TikTok and Douyin should have the same source code, this means the U.S. can get to know the operations of Douyin,” the editorial continued.

“If the reorganization of TikTok under U.S. manipulation becomes a model, it means once any successful Chinese company expands its business to the U.S. and becomes competitive, it will be targeted by the U.S. and turned into a U.S.-controlled company via trickery and coercion, which eventually serves only U.S. interests,” the author wrote.

The Global Times is a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, but does not speak on behalf of the party and government unlike its parent publication.

Over the weekend, ByteDance and Oracle announced they had reached a deal that would satisfy Trump’s call for TikTok to be sold to an American buyer or face shutdown in the United States.

However, both sides have framed the deal differently in public statements.

ByteDance has said TikTok Global will be its subsidiary of which it will own 80%.

Oracle has said ByteDance’s ownership would be distributed to ByteDance’s investors, many of which are U.S.-based and that the Beijing-based firm itself would have no stake in TikTok Global.

The deal requires approval from regulators in both Beijing and Washington.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.