(CelebrityAccess) — A seemingly blatant attempt by U.S. President Donald Trump to force the sale of social media app TikTok appeared to result in a provision deal over the weekend that may keep the app alive in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
After the Department of Commerce said it was moving to impose sanctions that would leave TikTok and social media messaging app WeChat unable to be operated in the U.S. on Friday, President Trump gave provisional approval of a deal to that would give Oracle and Walmart a combined 20% stake in a new company called TikTok Global.
The joint venture will be headquartered in the United States and operate the app. Four of the five board members would be Americans, Oracle and Walmart said in a joint statement.
TikTok’s current parent ByteDance would own 80% of TikTok Global, the Chinese company said in a statement on Monday.
“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said, speaking to reporters. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.”
In an interview with Fox News, President Trump also asserted that the deal would create a $5bn dollar fund for education but did not elaborate on which companies would be responsible for establishing the fund.
Walmart and Oracle did not mention the fund in a statement released over the weekend but ByteDance suggested the money could be based on their estimated U.S. tax obligations over the next 5 years.
The direct role of President Trump in such deal making is highly unusual and his administration has not provided any concrete evidence of TikTok’s malfeasance beyond suggestions that they are collecting data on users and that data may be available to the Chinese government.
Other American tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, and Google, collect vast swaths of data on Americans and do so with little to no sanction or attention from the U.S. government.