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  • A close-up shows the video-sharing application TikTok on a smart phone, 2020

    A close-up shows the video-sharing application TikTok on a smart phone, 2020 | Photo: EFE

Published 14 September 2020
Opinion

A partnership with Oracle would allow ByteDance to continue the operation of TikTok in the United States after Trump announced that the social network had to be sold to a local company.

While the deadline granted by President Donald Trump's administration to sell TikTok expires on Sept. 15, China's company ByteDance will not release its source code to any U.S. buyer.

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"ByteDance has informed us they will not sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft. We were confident that our proposal would have been positive for TikTok users and would also have protected national security interests," said Microsoft, which had partnered with Walmart to undertake the operation.

ByteDance would have chosen Oracle, although this would not imply that there was going to be a sale in strict terms of TikTok, but that the Californian software company would become its "trusted tech partner" in the country.

Both firms believe that this approach would satisfy the requirements imposed by President Trump, who has a good relationship with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

The parent company of the short video platform has not yet commented on the possibility of avoiding a sale by partnering with Oracle.

If so, this partnership would allow ByteDance to continue the operation of TikTok in the U.S. after Trump announced in August that the business of the social network had to be sold to a local company before Sept. 15 if it wanted to avoid being banned in the country.

However, the Chinese authorities complicated the operation by updating the lists of limitation or restriction of technology exports to other countries. This includes functions used by TikTok such as speech recognition, data analysis functions, or content recommendations.

These technologies could no longer be sold to other countries without the approval of the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

"We are developing solutions that will look out for the interests of users, creators, partners, and employees," ByteDance President Zhang Yiming said recently.

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