After a short few weeks of (probably frantic) deal making, TikTok seems to be finally avoiding the fate of a Trump ban.
The “technology partnership” that ByteDance, TikTok’s current owner, has struck with Oracle, seems to be a win-win situation for everyone:
For ByteDance: TikTok is saved, and ByteDance gets to continue to run it; two big American allies secured; and the data security worry diffused;
For Oracle: TikTok runs on our cloud, need I say more about security and reliability of our infrastructure?
For Walmart: I get access to a very good customer acquisition channel, or even seize a new “livestreaming ecommerce” opportunity;
For Trump: American teenagers can still play with their favourite app; Americans’ personal data safeguarded; American jobs created (with TikTok new global HQ in Texas); Americans own de facto majority of TikTok (and retail investors get a chance if it goes IPO next year); and $5b for “real history” education (whatever that means, as long as it helps with election).
If the deal announced is really closed according to the scenario above, everyone aside from Facebook will benefit. Fastly (FSLY) investors will stop worrying about their shares as well.
It would natural to assume that even if the partners get to run the business (instead of TikTok), it is unlikely they would do a good as good as ByteDance has been doing.
However, we do not know the exact details of the terms yet – whether technology would be transferred, how the decision making would take place. Also, China’s government has not commented on this deal – it will need their approval as well.
So the dust has not settled yet – or maybe all these are efforts to secure more time for the parties concerned. Elections in the US are coming soon, maybe they will change the dynamics – once and for all.