TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.
The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.
The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.
It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.
It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.
The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.
ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.
Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’
Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.
ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.
According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.