ByteDance's TikTok deal with Oracle will need approval from both China and US. However, President Donald Trump is raising questions about the company's plans to keep a majority stake in US operations.
ByteDance's proposal for US software firm Oracle to become a technology partner in its TikTok app will ultimately need approval from both Chinese and US officials.
The proposal, submitted to the Trump administration over the weekend, envisages Oracle becoming a "trusted" technology partner and making TikTok Global a US-headquartered company, ByteDance said on Thursday.
However, President Trump on Wednesday raised questions about ByteDance's plans to keep a majority stake in TikTok's US operations.
President Trump said he did not favour the idea of the Chinese firm retaining control, after six Republican lawmakers urged him to reject the proposal.
"It has to be 100 percent as far as national security is concerned. And no, I'm not prepared to sign off on anything. I need to see the deal," Trump told reporters ahead of the September 20 deadline for TikTok's owner ByteDance to sell its US operations or face the app's shutdown in the country.
He also said he opposed an arrangement reported by media outlets in which ByteDance would keep a majority stake in the company and Oracle a minority stake.
"We don't like that. Conceptually, I can tell you I don't like that," Trump said.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported earlier in the day that Oracle's proposal fell short of addressing the Trump administration's concerns over national security, though the deal remains under discussion.
TikTok said in their Thursday statement that they "submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department which we believe would resolve the administration's security concerns".
The proposal would allow the app to continue to be used by 100 million people in the US following Trump's deadline in early August for the app to sell or shut down its US operations.
Big chunk of money
The US is by far the largest TikTok market in terms of revenue, which it generates by selling advertisements.
Trump has demanded a significant portion of the Tiktok sale go to the US Treasury, but said on Wednesday he'd been advised that wasn't possible.
"I want a big chunk of that money to go to the United States government because we made it possible. And the lawyers come back to me and they say there is no way of doing that because nobody has ever heard of that before," he said.
President Trump has ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok amid US concerns user data could be passed to China's Communist Party government.
He has said he would ban TikTok in the United States as early as Sunday if ByteDance does not comply.
The Oracle deal would not require ByteDance to apply to Chinese authorities for an export license for TikTok's algorithm.
The company also told state-backed newspaper Global Times on Thursday that a sale of TikTok's operations or technologies is not included in its proposal to the United States.
ByteDance declined to comment when asked about this detail.
China late last month updated its export control rules to give it a say over the transfer of technology, such as TikTok’s user recommendation algorithm, to a foreign buyer.
Chinese officials have said ByteDance should not be coerced by the US into a deal.
The TikTok saga has seen several twists, with Microsoft seen initially as the suitor before its bid was rejected.