Trump says he isn't prepared to sign off on TikTok-Oracle deal

The president says national security is his priority.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET analyzing tech trends while also writing news, reviews and commentaries across mobile, streaming and online culture. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read

President Trump said he needs to learn more about a deal between TikTok and Oracle before signing off.

Angela Lang/CNET

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he isn't yet ready to sign off on a deal between short-form video app TikTok and technology giant Oracle, saying that he needs to make sure the arrangement addresses national security concerns about the app. 

"I'm not prepared to sign off on anything," Trump told a press briefing at the White House, adding that he expected the deal to be presented to him on Thursday. He emphasized the deal "has to be 100% as far as national security is concerned."

The president is expected to make a decision on the deal in the next 24 to 36 hours, reported CNBC on Thursday. 

TikTok's future in the US has been in limbo since early this summer after Trump targeted the app over concerns its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could be forced to give data about American users to the Chinese government. ByteDance says that it keeps user data in the US with a backup in Singapore. The company has said it wouldn't give data to the Chinese government if asked.

Trump has called for ByteDance to sell TikTok or risk being banned in the US. A deal with Oracle would make the US company the "trusted technology provider" in the US for ByteDance and is designed to address national security concerns.

Trump suggested he had misgivings about a deal that allows ByteDance to keep a majority stake in TikTok.

"Conceptually, I can tell you I don't like that," he said. "If that's the case, I'm not gonna be happy."

On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reportedly said the administration is still looking over details of the deal, but added that an arrangement where TikTok remains predominantly Chinese-run wouldn't meet Trump's objectives.

The president had initially indicated that the government should get a cut of any deal that took place after he called for the TikTok divestment. But he said lawyers had told him the government had no authority to require such a payment.