Oracle has held preliminary talks with ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, about acquiring the social media sensation’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times reported late Monday. Microsoft is also in talks to buy up the TikTok app from ByteDance.
TikTok is a wildly popular social media app where people, mostly teens and young adults, post short videos that are often synced with music. But it’s come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. US lawmakers have accused it of being a threat to national security.
The US Army and Navy have banned the app from government devices, and the US Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department are reportedlyto protect children’s privacy.
US President Donald Trump on Friday issued a second executive order in relation to the short-video app, giving Chinese parent company ByteDance 90 days to finish a deal to sell off the US arm of TikTok.
The app surged in popularity in the first quarter of the year, logging more than 2 billion downloads from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, analytics firm Sensor Tower reported in April.
The app has recently become a vehicle for political activism. After President Donald Trump’s official twitter account invited supporters to request tickets to an Oklahoma campaign rally on June 11, K-Pop fan accounts encouraged their followers to register for the event and then not attend. TikTok videos with millions of views encouraged viewers to do the same.
Oracle and TikTok representatives declined to comment.