Beijing unlikely to block ByteDance deal with Oracle, say experts

ByteDance’s deal with Oracle over the video-sharing platform TikTok is unlikely to be blocked by Beijing, domestic analysts say, since it does not involve the sale of any source code or Chinese data to the US.

Under the terms of the agreement, which now requires approval from the US government, ByteDance will become the majority shareholder in a new US-based company that runs TikTok’s global business.

As ByteDance’s “technical partner”, Oracle will independently process TikTok’s US data and possibly data from across the globe, as well as holding a minority share in the new company.

“There is no sale of any asset or any technology,” said one person directly involved in the protracted negotiations, which were carefully calibrated to avoid triggering resistance from either Beijing or Washington.

The person added that the deal was unlikely to require approval from regulators in Beijing. “As an enterprise software company Oracle will just be providing data security with a small minority stake,” the person said.

Public opinion in China has fluctuated over the course of ByteDance’s negotiations with US tech companies, with many on social media criticising the company for “bowing down” to US pressure. Last month, Beijing appeared to hit back at US president Donald…

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