US President Donald Trump said on Monday he would not approve a deal between Oracle and TikTok unless the US owners gain control over the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app, in a reversal to his statement over the weekend that the deal had his “blessing”.
Speaking in an interview on Fox News, Trump said he would not support the deal if the Chinese owner ByteDance retains control of TikTok. ByteDance “will have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won’t make the deal,” Trump said.
“They are going to buy it,” he said, referring to Oracle and Walmart. “They’re going to have total control over it. They’re going to own the controlling interest. And if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”
Trump also indicated that he expected Chinese influence to be diluted by a public offering of TikTok Global, which an offering process has started.
Soon after Trump’s Monday comments, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the China state-affiliated Global Times, tweeted that Beijing would likely reject the deal “because the agreement would endanger China’s national security, interests and dignity”.