TikTok: Oracle, the unlikely pretext

The Californian publisher Oracle has started talks with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to buy the American activities of the social network, according to the Financial Times. Larry Ellison’s company competes with Microsoft, the first to show interest in TikTok US before Twitter and Netflix.

After Microsoft, it is an unexpected candidate, Oracle, who has joined the ranks to take over the American operations of the Chinese social network TikTok. The short-format mobile video platform has 800 million users worldwide, 38% between 10 and 19 years and 29% between 20 and 29 years (BusinessofApps figures). Oracle declined to comment on this information in the Financial Times. According to the business newspaper, the software maker founded by Larry Ellison has started preliminary talks with ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to buy the mobile app’s activities in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Zealand. The Californian company is reportedly investigating the problem with a group of investors who already own shares in ByteDance, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, according to people familiar with the matter. At the same time, Facebook and Snap are said to be interested in acquiring Dubsmash, an app that matches Tiktok.

Oracle conducts frequent buybacks to complement its broad portfolio of enterprise management solutions. Interest in TikTok seems more surprising as the general public social network is out of its usual scope, even if the short video sharing platform announced a desire to attract business marketing teams more directly in June last year. However, campaign planning on social media is an area that Oracle has invested heavily in in recent years with its cloud digital marketing offering. In addition, its chairman Larry Ellison is one of the few great figures of Silicon Valley who have endorsed Donald Trump.

TikTok US must be sold in less than 90 days

A few days ago, the President of the United States issued a presidential decree instructing ByteDance to sell its American portion within 90 days (and no more than 45 days). Before turning to the put option after an interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella earlier this month, the American president threatened to ban the social network from the US (already banned in India after incidents with China), which it considered a security threat accused. A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal announced that TikTok had been collecting Android users’ Mac addresses, identifiers used to target advertisements but the use of which is also an invasion of privacy. The social network is being studied on this subject both in France by the CNIL and in the European Union.

In addition to Oracle’s interest in TikTok, the Financial Times also reports that Microsoft has been seriously considering making an offer for all of TikTok’s global operations, in addition to the countries previously included in its takeover proposal. that is, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company, headed by Satya Nadella, is said to be particularly interested in the European and Indian markets for social networks. In addition to Microsoft and Oracle, Twitter and Netflix have also expressed an interest in buying TikTok’s American operations, with the first less likely than the second to have the financial resources of their ambitions. Whatever the buyer, they will face major challenges, if only to make the social network independent of ByteDance’s back-end technology, the FT points out.