Oracle Wins the Bid for Tiktok Over Microsoft

Photo by Kon Karampelas on

Matthew Chen and Sofia Mulligan

Last week, the Trump administration caused an uproar among social media users when it announced the potential ban of Tiktok and Wechat, two popular apps with companies based in China. While this new development raises several questions about the legitimacy of the Trump administration’s power, the larger concern lies in the increased tensions between China and the United States.

With the advent of technology, data and computer systems have become the new battleground for politics. For most of China’s recent history, internet access has been restricted, while the US has never placed any direct limitations on the apps available to consumers.  However, US-China relations have taken a turn for the worse due to souring trade deals and the ongoing pandemic.

The concern over apps like Tiktok and WeChat lies more in the data-consumer relationship than the national security of the US. President Trump has stated that if the companies involved changed their operations from international to domestic, then the ban would be lifted. Immediately following this, many companies including Walmart, Oracle and Microsoft engaged in a bidding war to buy the US assets of Tiktok.

Just hours before the ban, Oracle and Walmart reached a deal to take over the US operations of Tiktok. in the US. The deal is extremely tentative as Trump has stated that he wouldn’t accept the deal if ByteDance retained a stake in the company. ByteDance intends to keep an 80% stake until the IPO. 

The Tiktok and Wechat ban represents a new era in trade relations. From now on, global superpowers may wage wars through data and consumer applications instead of trade and armed conflict. The potential ban of Tiktok and Wechat could be the first in a line of several “data wars.”