Trump administration officials reportedly want to ensure U.S. investors get a majority share of the company that will take over the Chinese-owned video sharing app, TikTok.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other federal officials are seeking for U.S. ownership of the company to reach over 50%, which falls short of the full acquisition desired by President Trump and other GOP lawmakers, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.
The push came as the Beijing-based company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has sought to retain majority ownership for its proposed partnership with Oracle Corp. in a U.S.-based company that will take over TikTok’s operations.
“Conceptually, I can tell you, I don’t like that,” Trump said about ByteDance maintaining a majority stake.
About 40% of ByteDance is owned by U.S. investors, 25% is held by its founder, Zhang Yiming, 20% by ByteDance employees, and another 20% by other non-U.S. investors. Under the structure U.S. officials are looking at, all of ByteDance’s assets would go to the new company, and Oracle and Walmart would also become investors.
Oracle and Walmart said their investments would be a better way to compete with Amazon, and Walmart would also be able to expand its advertising.
The Trump administration raised security concerns about TikTok earlier in 2020, alleging that the company was collecting and sharing U.S. consumer data with the Chinese government. TikTok has denied the claims.
In August, the White House gave ByteDance a 45-day deadline to sell or restructure its U.S. operations of TikTok or face a ban over the security claims.