On Saturday, US President, Donald Trump announced that he approved the TikTok deal with Oracle and Walmart “in the concept”. Today, he seemed not too sure of the deal.
The deal though fell far short of the 100% which he had earlier stated that he wanted. The announcement saved TikTok from being taken off the shelves of both the Apple and Google app stores.
TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart had agreed to a proposal where Oracle would serve as a “trusted technology provider” with a 12.5% stake in TikTok while Walmart would content itself with a 7.5% commercial partnership deal. ByteDance, the TikTok parent company would retain a majority stake in TikTok.
In practice, the new deal does not change much, in fact, it actually helps TikTok raise more money, while giving Oracle and Walmart a potential slice of the pie of TikTok profits. Trump’s administration is itself divided over the deal with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hailing it as good enough while Republican Senator Josh Hawley has urged Trump to reject it.
The saga took a new turn a few hours today when Trump appeared on Fox & Friends. “And if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal,” he said when asked on the morning TV show.
Meanwhile, the scheduled takedown of WeChat services was blocked on Sunday by a California Magistrate judge, citing concerns on First Amendment claims by a claimant group that includes a Chinese foodie company, Chihuo Ic., and US WeChat Users Alliance among others.
Officials of the US Commerce Department have said that they are preparing for a long legal battle. In the meantime, both TikTok and WeChat users can continue to use both apps, while the drama continues behind the scenes.
This article was first published on The Bold Brand Buzz