Enterprise software major Oracle seems to have won the fiery bidding for TikTok’s US operations after Microsoft’s confirmation that TikTok has rejected its acquisition offer. Speculations are rife that Oracle is close to becoming ByteDance’s technology partner. It is, however, not clear whether TikTok video-sharing social app’s technical partnership with Oracle also includes majority ownership rights.
“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for Tik Tok video users while protecting national security interests,” says Microsoft in a statement.
The Beijing-based video-sharing social network giant had been facing a ban threat by the US government due to data leakage and security fears. The Trump government had earlier given a Diktat to TikTok to either sell its American operations to a US company or shut down the local operations.
The development has left many industry onlookers flabbergasted as Satya Nadella-led Microsoft was the favorite to ink a deal with TikTok for its US operations from ByteDance. Not only does Microsoft have a fat purse, but it also delivers the best capabilities and engineering science to address the data protection concerns brought up by the US.
Given the ongoing geopolitical tensions, many Chinese companies are facing heat in countries like India and the US.
Earlier this year, Washington had barred telecom equipment major Huawei from selling next Gen 5G equipment and solutions in the US marketplace. India, too, had banned over 100 Chinese apps, including TikTok, early this year, traveling along with a border clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
Tik Tok ban: India’s response
It is highly unlikely that India will revoke the ban on TikTok’s operations unless Oracle acquires a majority stake in TikTok’s global operations as well as addresses New Delhi’s concerns related to security, data privacy, and user permissions.
India was Tik Tok’s largest overseas market, with over 200 million users when it shut down its operations in the country. The industry is abuzz with the reports that TikTok is exploring a backdoor entry in India through a local partner.
It would be interesting to watch if Oracle, the world’s second-greatest software company by market capitalization, can succeed in getting TikTok back in the Indian ecosystem.
Google’s new kid in India
After India banned TikTok in June this year, several companies tried to create TikTok clones to tap the massive audience who were left in the lurch after the Tik Tok ban in India. Surprisingly, none of the local alternatives were able to entice users and disrupt the authority TikTok enjoyed in the short-video segment.
Now, in the latest attempt, Google-owned YouTube has launched a new feature called Shorts, in beta version in India as an advantage of the Tik Tok ban. YouTube says that Shorts is a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less. “We’re excited to announce that we are building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones,” the company says in its official blog post.
Clearly, even if Tik Tok fails to earn a rejoinder, the competition in the short-video format is not going to stop in India.