President Trump has big plans for TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app and video platform currently in sale talks with Oracle — and Walmart.
Speaking Sept. 19 at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., Trump said the proposed executive order banning TikTok in the United States had been delayed a week so the reported $20 billion sale of TikTok in the U.S. by parent ByteDance to Oracle and Walmart could be finalized. The retail behemoth had previously been associated with a joint bid with Microsoft that had been rejected. TikTok has about 100 million users in the United States.
Under the proposed deal reported by CNN Business, which needs to be approved by Chinese regulators, TikTok would relocate its headquarters to Texas, hiring 25,000 workers in the process. More importantly, TikTok would store user data on Oracle servers rather than on the current Chinese-based servers — which had prompted initial concerns by the Trump Administration over cyber and national security.
“I’ve given the deal my blessing,” Trump said. “If it gets done, that’s great. If they don’t that’s OK, too.”
It’s been reported that Trump is seeking $5 billion from the “TikTok Global” transaction to help fund an educational project the president claims “can educate people as to real history of our country — the real history, not the fake history.”
Both Oracle and Walmart — as publicly held companies — are not legally obligated to fund Trump’s educational project.
Trump is proposing the fund in response to the “1619 Project,” which was started by The New York Times in 2019 on the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. The project aims to put consequences of slavery and contributions of black Americans as its main theme but has been criticized by historians.
Trump previously tweeted that planned rollout of the “1619 Project” in public schools in California would not be supported by the federal government.
“Department of Education is looking at this,” Trump tweeted earlier this month. “If so, they will not be funded.”