Chinese owners of TikTok ByteDance have denied any knowledge of the $5 billion education fund said to be included in the deal to keep the app in the US, reports Reuters. ByteDance said per Reuters that it was the first time it was hearing such in the news. So where could this have come from?
Well, we did tell you earlier that US President Donald Trump had told reporters outside the White House that TikTok would invest $5 billion into education funds in the country. “They’re going to be setting up a very large fund,” the president said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for.”
“The company has been committed to investing in the education field, and plans to work with partners and global shareholders to launch online classroom projects based on AI and video technology for students around the world,” ByteDance said on its official account on Toutiao per Reuters.
Trump gives his blessings to the Oracle bid
President Donald Trump has okayed keeping TikTok in the US. This would also mean that the president does not have any issues with Oracle’s bid for the Chinese-owned short-clip app. This came less than one day before a de facto ban threatened by the president last month was to take effect. “I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said to reporters per The Verge. “I approved the deal in concept.”
The Commerce Department had issued an order to block transactions with TikTok and its parent company ByteDance and another Chinese company WeChat, which would have taken effect today. The order, however, will now take effect from November 12th for TikTok, which will effectively halt its operations.
The new TikTok, which will have its headquarter in Texas, would hire up to 25,000 people, and would be called TikTok Global. The company will also contribute $5 billion toward US education, Bloomberg reports. “They’re going to be setting up a very large fund,” the president said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for.”
If the US government had proceeded with plans to ban TikTok, it would have affected its availability in the Play Store. A leaked document per Reuters had shown how Trump’s executive order could cut off the China-owned app from the app stores. Furthermore, this could affect TikTok’s revenue as advertising on the platform could become illegal.
Citing a leaked White House document, Reuters had reported last month that the US government was considering disrupting major aspects of the app’s operations and funding. This may not be unconnected with rising security and privacy fears over the safety of personal data being handled by TikTok.