tiktok china us flags
China and US flags are seen near a TikTok logo in this illustration picture taken July 16, 2020.

Reuters/Florence Lo

  • China will have to approve a proposed TikTok partnership with US tech firm Oracle, the app's owner ByteDance said Thursday.
  • The deal, put forward to the US government on Monday, would see TikTok's headquarters move to the US, with Oracle as a "trusted technology provider."
  • ByteDance wants to keep its share of the video app as part of the deal, but President Donald Trump told a press briefing Wednesday he was “not prepared to sign off” on it.
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Beijing will need to approve a proposed partnership between video app TikTok and US tech firm Oracle before it goes ahead, the app's Chinese owner ByteDance said Thursday.

The proposed deal, submitted to the Trump administration on Monday, involves the American company becoming ByteDance's "trusted technology provider," and moving TikTok's global headquarters to the US.

ByteDance wants to keep hold of its share of the video-sharing app as part of a deal it submitted to the US government on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. President Donald Trump had previously ordered ByteDance to sell the US arm of TikTok, or face a ban of the app, setting a deadline of Sunday, September 20.

Before the deal reaches Beijing, it's not yet clear that it will pass US approval. After learning that ByteDance would retain majority-ownership of TikTok at a press briefing on Wednesday, Trump said: "Just conceptually, I can tell you I don't like that." He also said he was "not prepared to sign off" on the proposed deal because he hadn't yet been briefed on it. 

The US government hopes to give potential US buyers of TikTok a majority share of the company, The Journal reported Wednesday.

In August, China updated its tech export rules for the first time in 12 years, ensuring Beijing had a say over the sale of technology to foreign companies. This could include parts of TikTok's operations, such as its algorithm.

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