Oracle emerges as TikTok US tech partner

US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has confirmed that the White House will review Oracle's bid to buy TikTok in the US.

“We'll be reviewing it with their technical teams and our technical teams to see if they can make the representations," he stated in a CNBC interview, referring to promised to keep data on US user mobiles safe.

TikTok has offered to create a new US-based company and add 20,000 jobs to win US government support.

Mnuchin added: “I want to be careful what I say, but I will confirm we did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner, with Oracle making many representations for national security issues."

TikTok runs its current US operations from Culver City, California.

President Donald Trump effectively began a bidding war for the Chinese-owned video sharing app after he prohibited American individuals or companies from doing business with parent company ByteDance after 20 September, with US assets to be divested by mid-November.

Microsoft confirmed on Sunday that it was out of the running, leaving a group of investors led by Oracle as the front runner. ByteDance later confirmed that Oracle would be its “technology partner", although the details of any acquisition remain unclear.

ByteDance will need approval for the deal from both Washington and Beijing, which recently implemented export controls on the kind of artificial intelligence technology behind TikTok’s algorithm. It is so far unclear whether the algorithm, considered its key asset, would be included in any sale.

The Chinese government reportedly opposes a forced sale of TikTok’s US operations and would prefer the company shut down.

Trump has claimed TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers for blackmail and conduct corporate espionage. The company responded that it has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government.

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