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  • Meerelle Cruz

TikTok-Oracle Deal Back on Track to Keep Users’ Data in US

TikTok is close to re-aligning its internal storage to ensure that data from US residents are not accessible by China-based organizations, following the Trump Administration's failed attempt to bring TikTok into US ownership in 2020.

According to Reuters, TikTok is close to finalizing a deal with Oracle to store its US user data, which would split the platform's US and Chinese databases, thus isolating US user data from the rest of the world. This would alleviate concerns about TikTok's Chinese roots, as parent company ByteDance is still bound by China's harsh cybersecurity rules, which require it to share user data with the CCP upon request.

The Trump Administration's concerns about TikTok were centered on the app's ties to the Chinese government, with the US government threatening to cut TikTok off totally in the US unless it could be sold into US control.

Various suitors then came in to buy the company's US arm, with Oracle coming close to buying the app altogether when incoming US President Joe Biden abandoned the effort in June last year. Nonetheless, there are concerns that TikTok may disclose information on US users with Chinese authorities.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has heightened those fears, with China supporting Russia's conduct, pitting the world's military heavyweights against one another, and raising concerns that China may consider the US as a direct adversary once again. As a result, while the main drive to detach TikTok from Chinese control has waned, an underlying movement to solve the issue continues.

TikTok, which now has over a billion users and has had tremendous success in the United States, will do everything it can to protect its business potential in this regard, and it will pursue a partnership with Oracle if it provides more confidence and lessens regulatory scrutiny.

The deal hasn't been finalized yet, but it'll be a significant step forward in TikTok's expansion goals.

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