KEY POINTS

  • ByteDance has repeatedly denied that it shares information on U.S. users with the Beijing government
  • Oracle’s cofounder and executive chairman Larry Ellison is a Trump supporter
  • Trump praised Oracle and Ellison

President Donald Trump has expressed his support for a potential bid by Oracle Corp. (ORCL) for the U.S. operations of Chinese-owned video app TikTok.

Oracle has reportedly entered into talks for the acquisition with TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, joining Microsoft (MSFT) as another bidder.

Trump has ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok’s U.S. assets to an American-based firm, citing national security concerns. Otherwise, the app will be banned in the U.S.

In response to Trump’s accusations, ByteDance has repeatedly denied that it shares information on U.S. users with the Beijing government.

Trump called Oracle – which is also seeking to acquire TikTok’s Canadian, Australian and New Zealand businesses – “a great company.”

Oracle’s cofounder and executive chairman Larry Ellison is a Trump supporter who held a campaign fundraiser for the president at his California estate earlier this year.

Oracle Chief Executive Safra Catz was also on the executive committee for the Trump transition team in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“I think Oracle is a great company, and I think its owner [Ellison] is a tremendous guy,” Trump said Tuesday at an event in Yuma, Arizona. “He’s a tremendous person. I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle [the acquisition].”

When asked by reporters about Microsoft’s rival bid for TikTok, Trump replied: “I guess Microsoft wants it and so does Oracle, and probably so do other [companies], but they have to also make sure the United States is well compensated because we’re the ones making it possible. Very simple: we’re the ones making it possible. Our treasury has to be very well compensated [in connection with a TikTok sale].”

While Oracle has deep pockets – $43 billion in cash or near equivalents at the end of May – TikTok’s global businesses have been valued at up to $50 billion, Reuters reported. (Microsoft has more than $136 billion in cash.)

Oracle’s negotiations for TikTok also include U.S. venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, each of whom own stakes in ByteDance.

Although Oracle has never made any investments before in social media or consumer apps, Abishur Prakash, a geopolitical futurist at the Center for Innovating the Future, a strategy consulting firm based in Toronto, thinks the software giant is seeking to expand and adapt.

“By putting TikTok’s data on Oracle servers, Oracle may be able to build inroads into new industries,” Prakash told CNBC. “In the post-COVID world, every business is trying to reinvent themselves. And, within [the] geopolitics of tech, there isn’t just risks, but also opportunities. Oracle may have its own ideas as to how it could use TikTok that it hasn’t revealed to the market yet.”