President Trump says he approved TikTok deal with Walmart, Oracle in 'concept'

He had threatened to shut down the China-owned company.

September 19, 2020, 8:21 PM

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that a deal has been made on TikTok with Walmart and Oracle, calling it a "great deal for America."

"We have some very big news on TikTok," Trump said Saturday. "TikTok is moving along. We’re dealing with Oracle, which you know of, Larry Ellison. And we’re dealing with, as a combination, Walmart -- Walmart, a great company, a great, American company. The security will be 100%. They’ll be using separate clouds and a lot of very, very powerful security. And they’ll be making about a $5 billion contribution toward education."

"They’re going to be setting up a very large fund for the education of American youth, and that will be great," he added. "That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for. But we’ll see whether or not it all happens."

When asked by a reporter if he approved the deal, Trump said, "I approve the deal in concept, yes."

Trump said ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, would "report the full scope of the deal very soon, very soon."

The news of an apparent deal comes a day after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that starting Sunday, downloads of the massively popular video app, as well as the messaging app WeChat, would be banned in the United States.

The department had said in a statement that the move was necessary to "safeguard the national security of the United States."

In a statement, TikTok said it was "pleased" its proposal with Walmart and Oracle "will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. Administration."

As part of the proposal, Oracle will host all U.S. user data, TikTok said, and both Oracle and Walmart will be able to take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company through a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round.

"We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global's headquarters in the U.S., while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country," the company said.

Trump did not mention WeChat in his conversation with reporters on Saturday.

In August, Trump issued twin executive orders that would shut down both apps by Sept. 20 if they weren't sold to U.S. owners. The deadline for TikTok was extended to Nov. 12, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in an interview on Fox Business News Friday morning. In the meantime, updates will be barred in the app, he said.

"In light of recent positive developments, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, at the direction of President Trump, will delay the prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to the TikTok mobile application that would have been effective on Sunday, September 20, 2020, until September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.," the Commerce Department said in a statement following Trump's announcement of the deal.

The ban announced on Friday also prohibited the transfer of funds or processing payments within the U.S. for WeChat.

The administration has claimed the Chinese Communist Party was using data collected through the apps to "threaten the national security, foreign policy and the economy of the U.S."

TikTok has an estimated 65 million to 80 million users in the U.S. and is especially popular among Gen Z-ers. WeChat has some 19 million users in the U.S., with wide use among the Chinese American community.

ABC News' Sabina Ghebremedhin, William Mansell and Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.

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