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The Economic Times
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| 24 September, 2020, 02:14 AM IST | E-Paper
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    ByteDance is poised to miss US deadline for TikTok sale

    ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has been caught in a clash between the world’s two preeminent powers. The serial entrepreneur has been reluctant to give up US TikTok from the start because he sees the business as a viable long-term competitor to Facebook Inc. and Google.

    The math doesn’t add up on TikTok’s deal with Oracle and Walmart

    The exact math may not matter very much, given Trump’s demand that China hav...

    TikTok pushing forward with deal to meet looming deadline

    TikTok has been at the center of deal negotiations and a political debate since ear...

    • ByteDance’s move contrasts with belt-tightening across scores of Asian startups from Singapore’s Grab to India’s Oyo. It echoes a handout from Huawei Technologies Co. in 2019, another Chinese company in Washington’s cross-hairs.

      Pegasus Tech Ventures and Lowercase Capital are the two major early investors in Triller, which is owned by Hollywood producer Ryan Kavanaugh and Sarnevesht’s Proxima Media.

      Beijing-based ByteDance has come under pressure from the White House and U.S. lawmakers to sell off its U.S. TikTok operations and now has a 45-day deadline on negotiations with Microsoft over such a deal.

      Son might be just the man to bring TikTok back. He’s already one of India’s greatest foreign backers, having poured money into local startups including Snapdeal, Oyo Rooms and Paytm.

      After the ban on both of ByteDance’s top apps, TikTok and Helo, amid the border standoff with China, the company has become a talent hunting ground for large technology and media companies.

      A deal with Oracle, the enterprise software company, would be more of a data play. Oracle could use TikTok’s data about social interactions to benefit its cloud, data and advertising businesses, the people said.

      A potential investment by ByteDance, the world’s most richly valued startup, will be intriguing, given the pressure it faces globally, and particularly in India, one of its key markets.

      A former SAP SE employee researching education software, Alex Zhu co-founded the lip-syncing app Musical.ly in 2014, which was later acquired by ByteDance for $800 million and merged into the TikTok app.

      For ByteDance and TikTok, a deal with Microsoft could help propel the valuation of the app’s business outside China to as high as $80 billion. It would also provide TikTok with the endorsement of a blue-chip American company to mollify the Trump administration, which had called TikTok’s Chinese ties a national security threat.

      The Hong Kong-based startup’s revenue surged 147% to 5 billion yuan ($720 million) in 2019 and its customer base increased by about 500 to 1,200 clients, according to co-founder Xu Bing.

      ShareChat owns a regional language social media platform that competed with ByteDance's recently banned Helo and a new short-video app Moj, which was released soon after TikTok's exit from the market.

      ByteDance had been in talks to divest TikTok's U.S. business to either Oracle or a consortium led by Microsoft Corp after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the sale last month and threatened to shut down the popular short-video app in the United States if it was not sold.

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