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Trump gives blessing to TikTok-Oracle deal, following federal judge's WeChat injunction

Neither app was delisted from U.S. app stores on Sunday.

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TikTok
TikTok on a mobile phone
(SOPA Images/Getty)
Updated: September 21, 2020 - 3:55pm

A California federal judge has issued an injunction halting President Trump's executive order that would have effectively banned Chinese messaging app WeChat from operating in the United States.

The ruling Sunday came one day after Trump gave his blessing to a deal between TikTok parent company ByteDance, Oracle, and Walmart that, for the moment, prevents TikTok from being delisted in U.S. app stores.

The president has formerly called both apps national security threats. 

WeChat, which is owned by the Chinese company Tencent Holdings, would have been barred from executing commercial transactions in the U.S. The Trump administration has called the app a tool by which China collects the data of Americans. Since 2014, U.S. users have accounted for about 7% of WeChat downloads outside China. 

The Commerce Department said last week that WeChat and TikTok as of Sept. 20 would be barred from American app stores. TikTok was given until Nov. 12 to finalize an approved deal with American companies that would allow the company to avoid harsher measures. 

Trump's conditional approval of the TikTok deal, coupled with Judge Laurel Beeler's ruling mean that neither app was delisted on Sunday. 

"I have given the deal my blessing," Trump said Saturday. "If they get it done, that's great. If they don't, that's OK, too. They'll be using separate clouds and very, very powerful security." 

"As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied," said TikTok in a statement. "We are currently working with Wal-Mart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global's headquarters in the US, while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country."

Walmart said it plans to accept a 7.5% stake in the company and that CEO Doug McMillon will serve on its five-member board. 

"We are excited about our potential investment in and commercial agreements with TikTok Global," Walmart said in a statement on Saturday.