President Trump said Saturday he's given his “blessing” to a proposed deal that would see the popular video-sharing app TikTok partner with Oracle and Walmart and form a US company. Trump said if completed the deal would create a new company likely to be based in Texas. “I have given the deal my blessing,” he said, per the AP. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.” Trump has targeted Chinese-owned TikTok for national security and data privacy concerns in the latest flashpoint in the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. The president's support for a deal comes just a day after the Commerce Department announced restrictions that if put in place could eventually make it nearly impossible for TikTok's legions of younger fans to use the app.
Trump said the new company will be hiring at least 25,000 people and making a $5 billion contribution to a fund dedicated to education for Americans. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for,” he said. Reuters reports that TikTok owner Bytedance on Sunday said that was the first it had heard of the $5 billion fund. TikTok previously said Oracle and Walmart could acquire up to a cumulative 20% stake in the new company in a financing round to be held before an initial public offering of stock, which Walmart said could happen within the next year. Oracle's stake would be 12.5%, and Walmart's would be 7.5%, the companies said in separate statements. The deal will make Oracle responsible for hosting all TikTok's US user data. Walmart said it will provide its ecommerce, fulfillment, payments, and other services to the new company.
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