Walmart won’t be investing in TikTok; Oracle wins bidding contest

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Walmart won’t be investing in TikTok; Oracle wins bidding contest

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/14/2020

Microsoft’s bid for the U.S. business of TikTok, which includes Walmart as a minority investor, has been rejected.

In a brief statement on its corporate website, Microsoft announced that TikTok parent ByteDance will not be selling the Chinese social media network’s U.S. operations to the technology giant. In late August, Walmart confirmed it was a partner in Microsoft’s bid to purchase the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand business of the platform, which is very popular among Gen Z consumers and lets users post, view and share short-form videos. 

Another high-profile suitor for TikTok’s U.S. operations, Oracle, appears to have had its offer accepted. In a brief statement, Oracle confirmed it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the "trusted technology provider" in a purchase.

According to NBC News, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the White House has received a proposal for Oracle to buy the U.S. business of TikTok. The Trump administration had threatened to ban TikTok in the U.S. if its American operations are not purchased by a U.S. company by Sept. 15, citing concerns over the app’s potential connections to the Chinese Communist Party. 

Walmart had been eyeing TikTok’s integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities. Interestingly, in a statement on its website, the discounter said it is still in discussions with the platform.

"Walmart continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment and continues discussions with ByteDance leadership and other interested parties," said Walmart. "We know that any approved deal must satisfy all regulatory and national security concerns.

The purchase price for TikTok’s U.S. business has been estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion. Any acquisition will need approval from both the U.S. and Chinese governments.