Oracle enters the race for TikTok

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Oracle, a software giant, is in talks to acquire the assets of the social media company TikTok in US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, says sources.

According to reports, Oracle is partnering with a team of US venture capital firms that already have a stake in TikTok. The firms were identified as General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital.

It’s negotiations to acquire TikTok’s operations in the four countries are proceeding and have advanced in recent days.

Earlier reports suggested that other than Microsoft, ByteDance had also been approached by Twitter to express interest in acquiring TikTok’s US operations. But Microsoft is still well ahead of any other companies that have expressed interest.

Some analysts believe that the new entrant is a ‘credible alternative’ for ByteDance as the ability of Twitter as a bidder may have financial limitations and Microsoft is rumored to be interested in acquiring the service in markets where ByteDance does not want to sell, such as India.

President Donald Trump had asked ByteDance to divest the US operations of its video app within 90 days, raising pressure on the Chinese firm over concerns about the safety of the personal data it manages.

Oracle does not have a social media or video business which is consumer facing. Hence, the US based multinational company might use TikTok’s customer data to improve its marketing products, but still investing tens of billions to acquire a social media platform would be a significant move for the business.

Also, it has been pointed out that Oracle is worth about $166 billion, and recently had $43 billion in “cash or close equivalents” that it could potentially use to make the deal with ByteDance.

With Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud dominating cloud computing, Oracle has struggled to find new avenues for growth.