A new TikTok Global would file for an initial public offering in the U.S. in about a year under a plan still awaiting approval by President Trump that would see Oracle and Walmart as major investors in the video sharing app, according to reports Thursday.
TikTok is said to have approached Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom about becoming CEO following the departure of Kevin Mayer, according to news reports. The former Walt Disney executive ran the platform for just over three months and left in late August after President Trump threatened to ban the app in the U.S.
It’s not clear if or how the new TikTok would be majority U.S. owned. The Administration had set a Sept. 20 deadline for TikTok parent, ByteDance of China, to sell the U.S. assets of the hugely popular service due to security concerns over consumer data. Microsoft had been considered the front runner but last Sunday Oracle emerged with a deal as a major technology partner for TikTok in the U.S. amid lots of head scratching as to what that means.
Walmart has publicly reiterated its interest in being part of a deal. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon would get a seat on a new U.S. board of the new company if the current deal goes through, CNBC said. Oracle could take a stake of around 20% and Walmart a still unspecified stake.
Reports said the fact that ByteDance already has U.S. investors, including Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic and Coatue Management could mean that U.S. ownership in the new TikTok will end up at over 50% even if Oracle and Walmart don’t take a combined majority.
The deal is still being finalized and needs approval by the Trump Administration and by China.
At a press briefing Wednesday, Trump said he wouldn’t like to leave China in control of the company. “Conceptually, I can tell you, I don’t like that,” he said.
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