President Donald Trump endorsed on Tuesday the idea that the tech company Oracle might purchase TikTok, a Chinese-owned video-sharing app.
“I think Oracle is a great company, and I think its owner is a tremendous guy,” Trump said referring to cofounder Larry Ellison. “He’s a tremendous person.”
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that Oracle had joined Microsoft in expressing interest in purchasing TikTok from the Chinese parent company Bytedance.
Ellison is a supporter of Trump, and even held a fundraiser in February for his reelection at his estate in Coachella Valley, California.
“I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it,” Trump said when asked about his opinion about the deal.
The president has considered banning TikTok altogether out of concerns that the Chinese government has access to user data in the United States. But he backtracked on the idea, giving Bytedance 45 days to sell to a United States tech firm.
Microsoft is also reportedly considering a purchase of TikTok, as CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump personally about the possible deal.
Trump said he did not favor either of the companies but wanted to make sure that the United States got a cut of the deal.
“Very simple: We’re the ones making it possible. So our Treasury has to be very well compensated,” he said.
The president reminded reporters that TikTok had until September 15 to make a deal
“After that, they got to close shop, okay?” he said. “That’s TikTok.”