(Reuters) - Oracle Corp said on Monday it would team up with China’s ByteDance to keep TikTok operating in the United States, beating Microsoft Corp in a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale.
Getting the transaction across the finish line will rest heavily on Oracle co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison, one of the few top technology executives to openly support President Donald Trump, who has ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok amid concerns over the safety of the personal data of U.S. consumers.
December 2016: Oracle Chief Executive Safra Catz joined then president-elect Trump’s transition team, and remained at the company in the process.
February 2020: Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Rancho Mirage, California, estate, according to the Desert Sun. Guests could pay $100,000 to join a golf outing and have their photo taken with the president; for $250,000, they could also participate in a round-table discussion. Oracle employees signed a Change.org petition calling for Ellison to cancel the event.
March 2020: Ellison spoke to Trump about the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, according to the New York Times, and Oracle started to prepare to help with collecting data about the drug. Ellison offered to do the work for free, according to Forbes.
According to the New York Times, citing federal records, Catz has donated more than $130,000 toward Trump’s reelection. In 2019, Oracle gave between $500,000 and $999,999 to Trade Works for America, a group created by Republican operatives to support Trump’s NAFTA replacement bill.
Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Nick Zieminski
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.