ByteDance chooses Oracle as 'trusted tech partner,' rejects bid from Microsoft - report

Byte has rejected Microsoft’s offer for its TikTok operations in the US and reportedly chosen Oracle as its “trusted tech partner.” The report, put out by the Wall Street Journal, came a few hours after Microsoft announced its bid had been denied, but added that the deal is not likely to be structured as an outright sale. It is also not yet known if the agreement with Oracle includes the transfer of TikTok algorithms. 

Oracle reportedly entered into talks with ByteDance in mid-August after expressions of interest in the country by Microsoft and Twitter. The move came after the US government issued an ultimatum to ByteDance, to either sell TikTok’s US operations or stop the app’s activities in the country. 

Microsoft expressed disappointment in the rejection and said it was confident its proposal would have been good for TikTok users, while protecting national security interests. 

Under the deal with Oracle, at least some of ByteDance’s existing investors will get stakes in the venture, sources told the WSJ. These investors include Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic. Meanwhile, Walmart said in a statement that it is thinking of joining Oracle and that it is still in talks with ByteDance “leadership and other interested parties.” 

Sources said Oracle is mainly interested in TikTok to boost its cloud-computing business. For Microsoft, owning TikTok would have helped the company build its presence among everyday consumers, and given it more data on young users, another source said.