TikTok, the US government and Oracle

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular apps, and the owner (ByteDance) is a Chinese company that acquired an American company (Musical.ly) to partly seed the service. This has led to a very unusual situation.

It started with president Trump’s order in 2020 for ByteDance to divest its U.S. operations for national security reasons. It hasn’t come to that, but Lawfare writes about how TikTok, the U.S. government and Oracle will organize TikTok US’ operations going forward. It’s about containing U.S. users’ data to a U.S. company that operates under special rules (overseen by third party monitors, government to be notified about new hires so they can make security background checks etc).

It is interesting to see a Western government treat a Chinese company in a similar way as the Chinese government treats non-Chinese companies. Do as we say or don’t do business here.

Author: Henrik Torstensson

Partner at Alliance VC. Investing in Nordic early-stage tech startups.

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