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Looking into Oracle-TikTok deal to ensure no compromise on national security: Trump

PTI, Sep 17, 2020, 8:33 AM IST

Washington: US President Donald Trump has said he is looking into American major Oracle”s reported bid for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and want to ensure there is no compromise on national security before approving the deal.

Last month, Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat by September 15 unless the ownership of the two Chinese companies changed to American.

Initially, Microsoft was involved in talks with ByteDance that owns the TikTok platform. However, now Oracle has entered into a deal in this regard with ByteDance.

Trump told reporters at the White House that before approving the deal, he would like to ensure that there is no compromise on national security and that the US Treasury gets a large chunk of the business transactions.

He is scheduled to receive a briefing from his officials on Thursday.

“They’re giving me studies on the deal. Has to be 100 percent as far as national security is concerned. And no, I”m not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal. We need security especially after what we’ve seen with respect to China and what”s going on,” Trump said in response to a question Wednesday.

At the same time, he conceded that there are legal challenges in the Treasury receiving money from this deal.

“We are going to see about that. Amazingly, I find that you’re not allowed to do that. You”re not allowed to accept–what kind of a thing is this?” he asked.

“They’re willing to make a big payment to the government and we”re not allowed to take their money. When does this happen? How foolish can we be? So we”re looking into that right now,” he said in response to a question.

Trump said he wants a big chunk of that money to go to the US government because it is his administration that made it possible.

“The lawyers come back to me and they say, well there”s no way of doing that. You know why? Cause nobody has ever heard of that before. Nobody has ever said that before. Nobody has ever said, well we approve the deal. But we want a lot of money to go to the government because by approving the deal we”re making the deal valuable. They’ve never heard of that before. OK? Can you believe that, right? Hard to believe,” he said.

In response to another question, Trump said he does not like ByteDance having a majority stake.

According to the proposal submitted by ByteDance, it would keep a majority stake and Oracle would have a minority stake, news reports have said.

“We will find out about that. We are looking at that from the standpoint of ByteDance. We don’t like that. I mean just conceptually I can tell you I don’t like that. That has not been told to me yet. That has been reported but it has not been told to me. It could be very accurate reporting for a change. So if that”s the case I”m not going to be happy with that. Assuming that ByteDance is China which I think it probably is,” Trump said.

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