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Saturday, September 18, 2021

TikTok parent company contradicts Trump

According to Donald Trump, the new TikTok “has nothing to do with China”. But the parent company interprets this very differently than the US President.

On the weekend Donald Trump gave his “blessing” to the deal he had forced by TikTok mother Bytedance with Oracle , as he put it. From his point of view, the TikTok Global company that will then be founded will be “a completely new company. It will have nothing to do with China”.

The US president also surprised with the statement that TikTok, Oracle and Walmart would transfer five billion dollars to an education fund in Texas, which should ensure “that the real history of our country is taught, not the fake history”. Trump had before, a few days an educational project of the “New York Times Magazine,” which will give the issue of slavery a different status in the classroom as a “twisting, distortion and defilement of the American Story” called .

The majority Chinese-controlled group Bytedance presented its view of things on Monday . The first point: The global TikTok business will continue to be run as a subsidiary. There are “rumors” that the majority will be in the hands of US actors.

The US side calculates like this: Oracle and Walmart want to acquire 12.5 percent and 7.5 percent respectively in TikTok Global. Because the owners of Bytedance also include US investors, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, the majority of TikTok Global will be in the hands of Americans. Bytedance puts it this way: “TikTok Global is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bytedance headquartered in the United States. TikTok Global plans to start a small round of financing prior to the IPO. After the financing, TikTok Global will become a holding subsidiary of Bytedance, which holds 80 percent . “

That TikTok Global “will have nothing to do with China”, as Trump said, is definitely wrong.

No control over the TikTok code for Oracle

Second, Trump’s statement about the five billion dollar payment at Bytedance sounds different: TikTok Global will probably have to pay such a sum in the form of taxes in the US, but firstly over several years and secondly, it is only one “Forecast”. That has nothing to do with the Oracle-Walmart deal.

Thirdly, TikTok’s algorithms played a major role in the negotiations, which among other things determine which videos are recommended to users in which order. They are considered to be the heart of TikTok. Bytedance is now curbing expectations regarding future control over it: So far, there are no plans to hand over algorithms in the deal with Oracle and Walmart. Oracle is given “authorization to review the source code of TikTok USA. Viewing the source code is a universal solution for multinational companies to allay concerns about local data security.”

The Chinese government had previously tightened its export regulations and stipulated that “IT technologies with personalization based on data analysis” and operation using artificial intelligence may only be sold abroad with their permission. TikTok’s algorithms should also fall under this definition.

According to the “New York Times” , a statement by Walmart that was changed later brought the chaos to the point. It initially read: “This unique technology eliminates the risk that foreign governments can spy on American users or influence them with disinformation. Ekejechb ecehggedkrrnikldebgtkjkddhfdenbhbkuk”. The jumble of letters could have been a placeholder that was later deleted.

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