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Oracle reportedly in talks to acquire TikTok

Move comes after the Trump administration effectively banned the popular app from the US.

TikTok may have a new suitor.
Angela Lang/CNET

Oracle has held preliminary talks with ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese owner, about acquiring the social media sensation's operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times reported late Monday. Microsoft is also in talks to buy up the TikTok app from ByteDance.

TikTok is a wildly popular social media app where people, mostly teens and young adults, post short videos that are often synced with music. But it's come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. US lawmakers have accused it of being a threat to national security.

The US Army and Navy have banned the app from government devices, and the US Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department are reportedly probing allegations that TikTok has failed to meet its obligation to protect children's privacy.

US President Donald Trump on Friday issued a second executive order in relation to the short-video app, giving Chinese parent company ByteDance 90 days to finish a deal to sell off the US arm of TikTok.

Trump appeared to give the potential union his blessing on Tuesday, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

"I think Oracle is a great company. I think Oracle is someone that could handle it." Trump said ahead of a rally in Yuma, Arizona, after calling Oracle co-founder and Trump supporter Larry Ellison a "tremendous guy."

The app surged in popularity in the first quarter of the year, logging more than 2 billion downloads from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, analytics firm Sensor Tower reported in April.

The app has recently become a vehicle for political activism. After Trump's official Twitter account invited supporters to request tickets to an Oklahoma campaign rally on June 11, K-Pop fan accounts encouraged their followers to register for the event and then not attend. TikTok videos with millions of views encouraged viewers to do the same.

Oracle and TikTok representatives declined to comment.