In Trump Clash, TikTok Founder Takes Page From ‘Art of the Deal’ - Yahoo Finance
Sep 16, 2020 1 min, 30 secs
security concerns about the hit video app, the Chinese entrepreneur is offering Trump something the president has already declared unacceptable.

The president has said that TikTok must be sold to an American owner -- or shut down.

What Zhang has proposed instead is a partnership with Oracle that would allow ByteDance to retain majority ownership of the business, while the U.S.

Trump said Tuesday a decision would come “soon,” and a security panel met to review the proposal.

Final details are in flux, but ByteDance’s venture investors may also take equity stakes in the TikTok business.

“The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it,” the president wrote in his best-selling autobiography with Tony Schwartz.

Zhang has also aligned himself with Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, a fervent supporter of the president who appears to have his trust.

That alliance may persuade Trump to accept a deal from Oracle he wouldn’t from another company.

government that the president has insisted be the condition of any deal, according to two people familiar with the plan.

Instead, Zhang turned to Ellison and Oracle.

What Zhang and Ellison crafted is nothing like the deal that the Trump administration had anticipated.

Instead of buying the business outright, Oracle would make an investment in a newly restructured TikTok, people familiar with the proposal said.

At least two shareholders in TikTok’s Chinese parent company, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, would take stakes in the new business, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified because the terms aren’t finalized.

Trump may be able to shutter TikTok in the U.S., but Zhang would maintain full ownership elsewhere -- and perhaps return to the country in the future if the political environment changes.

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