Welcome to another shady deal where the powers that be get what they want, which is money, and, you guessed it, more power. Oh, that sweet feeling of power, power, yes!
The big players in the TikTok U.S. Operations game are as follows: The Trump Administration (a.k.a Washington), Oracle Corp. (a.k.a Trump Supporter), the Government of the People’s Republic of China (a.k.a Beijing), and ByteDance Ltd. (a.k.a TikTok owner), oh, and Microsoft, but they don’t have a strong enough relationship with Trump so they are out.
What’s Going On
ByteDance Ltd., Tik Tok owner, is a Chinese company. The Trump administration has claimed that TikTok is a threat to national security and is set to ban the social media platform by September 20. The ban won’t happen if the U.S. operations of TikTok are sold to a U.S. company. This is one of the issues of ongoing discord between Beijing and Washington and both governments must signoff on the deal.
Enter the U.S. Companies
Originally it was Microsoft Corp. that looked to be in the lead for purchasing TikTok, but guess what? Microsoft’s footprint is too big in China for the Trump administration’s liking and they have not been openly supporting Trump. Enter Oracle.
Oracle co-founder, Larry Ellison is one of the only Silicon Valley moguls to publicly support the current administration. Big surprise that when you give money to Trump, he has your back. Oracle has nurtured their relationship with Trump since before he was elected and continues to do so, which is why Oracle’s bid is publicly endorsed by him. Not only is Oracle endorsed by Trump, but they are also backed by Sequoia Capital, which is a large ByteDance shareholder.
So Why Does Oracle Care
Most companies are looking to grow. They want to expand their business past what they originally started out producing. It makes sense and Oracle is no different. Just because the company they keep is, cough, cough, questionable, it doesn’t mean that they have any different motivations than any other company.
Oracle, originally a corporate software company, now looks to expand its consumer data and cloud computing business. What better way to do this than purchase TikTok? You cannot get more consumer data than TikTok. Although it will be sometime before Oracle will be able to compete with the likes of Amazon (I do not know if anybody can compete with Amazon at this point) and Microsoft. But, beating out one of the big players is a great start. Must be nice to have friends in high places (or low places depending on one’s opinion).
How Much Dough Is This Going to Cost
As I am sure you can imagine, TikTok’s price tag for U.S. (or anywhere) operations is not going to come in the form of lemonade stand money. So, little Jimmy, you are going to have to charge more than a nickel to buy even a small piece of these social media giants. The early offers from Oracle and Microsoft are coming in at 25 billion. I know, I know, why didn’t I throw my hat in the ring? Because I’m not a faceless corporation. Also, the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side if you weren’t already aware.
Grifting means to obtain money or property unlawfully. Originally the Trump administration said that TikTok was a national security threat because they were not sure that the code was secure, along with American’s data, or their phones. Keeping this in mind, if Oracle is able to purchase TikTok, with a little help from a certain “Rome burning in man form” (thank you John Oliver) but they don’t have any meaningful source code or operational changes, then none of the administrations worries about national security would actually be addressed. It would just be one rich person helping another rich person by using their political power to expand their pockets full of money. Illicit if you ask me.