President Donald Trump said he has approved a bid by Oracle and Walmart to take over TikTok’s U.S. operations in a move that would mean the app beloved by American teens won’t be banned after all.
Trump told reporters the news Saturday as he left the White House, saying that the combined company is “conceptually” a great deal for the U.S. The new company will continue to go by the name TikTok, Trump said. And it would be headquartered in Texas and employ at least 25,000 people, he added.
“I have given the deal my blessing, if they get it done that’s great, if they don’t that’s OK too,” Trump said. “We’ll see whether or not it all happens but conceptually I think it’s a great deal for America.
In an emailed statement, TikTok said it’s pleased that the proposed deal between the three companies settles questions around the app’s future in the states.
“We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. Administration,” TikTok said.
USA TODAY reached out to Oracle for comment.
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The approved deal is a major step in the Trump versus TikTok saga, which Trump says is over security concerns. The Trump administration has warned that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, might share user data with the Chinese government.
TikTok has said it doesn’t share U.S. user data with China nor send that information to its hub in Beijing.
The new U.S.-based version of TikTok would use “a lot of very, very powerful security,” Trump said. “It will have nothing to do with any outside land and the outside country. It will have nothing to do with China.”
Oracle, a software giant, has taken the lead in the proposal and would be responsible for hosting user data in the U.S. and ensuring national security requirements are met, according to TikTok.
The deal could give Walmart access to an active, young consumer base that’s known to frequent TikTok.
Trump’s announcement comes ahead of what was a pressing deadline for TikTok. The President issued an executive order giving the app until Sunday to reach a deal with an American company, otherwise, it’d be pulled from app stores in the U.S.
WeChat, which is owned by a Chinese company, is also a target of the executive order. Effective Sept. 20, the government is blocking WeChat’s ability to facilitate fund transfers and payment processing. It’s also barring ther companies from updating the app, maintaining the app and supporting the app’s code in other software or services.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump has approved a TikTok deal with Oracle, Walmart