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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump hasn't yet blessed ByteDance's proposed savior plan for TikTok, featuring Oracle as a "trusted technology partner."

The state of play: This deal is not fait accompli, despite some media reports yesterday that there would be an announcement before nightfall. But the odds remain in its favor.

What might come next

1. CFIUS would grant an extension.

  • Trump's 45-day "deal or ban" executive order was soon followed by a 90-day requirement that ByteDance divest what now is effectively TikTok.
  • This Oracle deal is easier to execute than an acquisition would have been, but it's still highly unlikely that all of it could be completed by mid-October.

2. TikTok would drop its lawsuit against Trump's EO.

  • It's unclear if this is part of ByteDance's formal submission to CFIUS, but doing so would be a reasonable quid pro quo.

3. TikTok would hire a CEO.

  • The U.S. business is currently being led by Vanessa Pappas, a YouTube vet who was general manager before Kevin Mayer's surprise resignation.
  • She may be in the mix, but don't be surprised to see TikTok's new board scour the C-suite at companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Disney (which was Mayer's former home). Or maybe even from Walmart, which is expected to invest in the new entity.

4. "TikTok Inc." would try to consolidate.

  • TikTok is a global app, but all that's being proposed here is a tech cleave of its U.S. business. From a practical perspective, that could make it difficult for a Los Angeles user to view content created by a London user, and vice versa.
  • Given that other Western governments have expressed discomfort with ByteDance, don't be surprised if other geographies eventually get folded into the Oracle agreement. The finances could get sticky.

The bottom line: White House approval would be the beginning, not the end, of what needs to be done to create the new TikTok.

Go deeper: "Axios Re:Cap" podcast takes a look at how the TikTok saga is playing inside of China, with CNBC Beijing bureau chief Eunice Yoon. Listen via Apple, Spotify, or Axios.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated Sep 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Trump risk rises for companies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump fancies himself a businessman — and has given himself a central role in determining the conduct and even the existence of major companies both domestic and foreign.

Why it matters: America has historically been a great place to operate a company under the rule of law, and not be beholden to political whim. Those days seem to be over — at least for companies in the communications industry.

Updated 31 mins ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two assault rifles believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI said in a statement to news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.