Oracle is reportedly looking to purchase TikTok, giving Microsoft more competition for a politically sensitive acquisition of the popular video-sharing app.
The software giant led by President Trump-supporting billionaire Larry Ellison has held preliminary talks with TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, as it “seriously” considers purchasing the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times reported early Tuesday.
California-based Oracle has been working with a group of American investors, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, that already own a piece of ByteDance, the outlet reported, citing “people briefed about the matter.”
Oracle declined to comment. Neither ByteDance nor TikTok immediately responded to requests for comment Tuesday morning.
Oracle could challenge Microsoft’s bid to take over TikTok, which Trump has ordered ByteDance to sell within 90 days based on “credible evidence” that the Beijing-based company poses a national security threat. US officials have alleged that TikTok could share American users’ data with the Chinese government, which TikTok says it does not do.
Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and chairman, is among a small number of Silicon Valley magnates who have backed Trump. He held a fundraiser for the president’s re-election campaign at his California home in February that reportedly sparked a protest among Oracle employees.
Microsoft said earlier this month it was talking with ByteDance about buying TikTok’s operations in the same four countries that Oracle is reportedly targeting. The Redmond, Washington-based tech titan said it planned to wrap up the discussions by Sept. 15, the deadline Trump initially set for a sale to take place under an Aug. 6 executive order.
Twitter has also reportedly approached TikTok about a deal, though there have been “serious concerns” about the San Francisco-based company’s ability to finance it, the Financial Times reported.
No matter the buyer, a sale will be crucial for TikTok’s ability to keep operating in the US as Trump’s order could reportedly boot it from US app stores and bar American companies from buying ads on the platform.