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President Trump says he approves of Oracle’s bid for TikTok ‘in concept’

The Verge logo The Verge 9/19/2020 Makena Kelly and Kim Lyons
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone © Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

President Trump says he has approved “in concept” Oracle’s bid for TikTok, less than a day before a de facto ban he threatened in August was set to go into effect.

“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said to reporters outside the White House Saturday as he departed for a rally in North Carolina. “I approved the deal in concept.”

On Friday, the Commerce Department issued an order to block transactions with both TikTok parent company ByteDance and WeChat, effective September 20th. The order is set to go into effect on November 12th for TikTok, effectively halting the app’s operations

The details of the deal are still in flux, but the new company, called TikTok Global, would be based in the US and take over processing and storage for all US-based TikTok users. Trump said the new company would be headquartered in Texas, would hire up to 25,000 people and would contribute $5 billion toward US. education, Bloomberg reported. “They’re going to be setting up a very large fund,” the president said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for.”

How the new deal addresses the president’s security concerns over the app weren’t clear Saturday afternoon. But the Chinese government has to sign off on any transaction for it to move forward.

The White House and TikTok did not immediately reply to requests for comment Saturday.

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