Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump on Saturday said he approved "in concept" a deal whereby TikTok will be allowed to continue operating in the U.S., with Oracle as its "trusted technology partner."

Why it matters: TikTok has nearly 100 million U.S. users, and is still growing fast. Trump has threatened to ban it, due to data privacy concerns related to TikTok's ownership by Chinese tech company.

Of note: The U.S. Commerce Department has announced a one-week delay to the EO taking effect.

What he's saying: "I have given the deal my blessing — if they get it done that's great, if they don't, that's okay too," Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for an evening rally in North Carolina. "I approved the deal in concept."

  • The president noted the new company would be headquartered "most likely in Texas," and could see "at least," 25,000 people hired."
  • Trump also said that TikTok "will be making a $5 billion contribution toward education." Axios has learned that contribution would come from proceeds of a TikTok IPO, if and when that were to happen.
  • Finally, Trump noted that "it'll be totally controlled by Oracle and Walmart."

Yes, but: It won't be. TikTok will be controlled by its board of directors, all of whom will be U.S.-based and approved by the U.S. government. But Oracle and Walmart each will be minority shareholders, with no single entity or no two entities representing a control position on the board.

What TikTok's saying: "We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. Administration and settle questions around TikTok's future in the U.S."

What Oracle CEO Safra Catz is saying: "As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global... We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.

  • "This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”

Flashback: ByteDance originally formed TikTok via its acquisition of Musical.ly in 2018, but that deal received renewed U.S. national security attention beginning last November.

  • One major concern was a Chinese government rule whereby China-based companies are required to turn over user data to the government upon request.
  • TikTok maintained that it stored U.S. data locally, with a backup in Singapore, and that its data is not subject to Chinese law.
  • U.S. political criticism of ByteDance, from a data privacy perspective, has been bipartisan. Several lawmakers also expressed doubts about the proposed deal with Oracle.

Context: Trump in early August threatened to ban TikTok were it not sold by Sept. 20. Shortly after, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) ruled the Musical.ly deal must be unwound by mid-November.

  • ByteDance originally was in talks to sell TikTok's U.S. operations to either Microsoft or Oracle.
  • Those talks broke down after the Chinese government implemented new tech export rules that would have prevented TikTok's recommendation engine (i.e., its algorithm) from being included.

The state of play: ByteDance informed Microsoft last weekend that it opted for a workaround arrangement with Oracle, whereby Oracle would be TikTok's "trusted technology provider in the U.S."

  • Oracle also was working with Walmart, which previously worked with Microsoft. The goal would be to add e-commerce functionality to TikTok, which currently generates relatively little U.S. revenue.
  • ByteDance subsequently submitted its proposal to CFIUS, and received redlined revisions last Wednesday. ByteDance agreed to most of the revisions, presumably with Beijing's blessing.
  • Axios scooped what was in the ultimate deal.

What happens next: Expectations are that Trump will rescind his executive order, which would have prevented U.S. downloads of TikTok beginning Sunday. The formal CFIUS process will take longer, possibly weeks.

The bottom line: TikTok lives.

Go deeper on TikTok with the Axios Re:Cap podcast:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Dec 14, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: FTC launches sweeping privacy study of top tech platforms

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission will announce Monday that it's launching a new inquiry into the privacy and data collection practices of major tech firms including Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as well as its subsidiary WhatsApp, Axios has learned.

The big picture: The move comes amid broader scrutiny for the industry and appears to be a wide-reaching inquiry into everything major tech companies know about their users and what they do with that data, as well as their broader business plans.

Dec 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Reddit acquires TikTok rival Dubsmash

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit has acquired Dubsmash, the short-form video app akin to TikTok, the company said in a statement provided to Axios. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Why it matters: The deal marks the latest move by a tech platform to invest in a TikTok-like video feature. Snapchat last month launched its TikTok competitor, called Spotlight. Facebook launched its competitor, called Reels, in August.

46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!