TikTok ignoring US $ 5 billion ‘education fund’ request

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Bytedance, the owner of TikTok, says he has not heard of a $ 5 billion (£ 4 billion) contribution to a new education fund requested by US President Donald Trump, during a rally in North Carolina.

The company posted a statement on its Chinese website.

He said he wanted to offer an “explanation for some false rumors” about his deal with Oracle and Walmart.

He also said there are no plans to transfer ownership of the valuable algorithms that power TikTok.

Donald Trump had threatened to ban the app in the United States unless a sale was made with an American company by mid-September.

An agreement was eventually made to create a new division, TikTok Global, in partnership with Oracle and Walmart, based in the United States.

Mr Trump said over the weekend that he asked the companies involved to pay money “so that we can educate people on the real history of our country.”

TikTok said the $ 5 billion figure was “a forecast of corporate and other operating taxes that TikTok will have to pay for its business development in the next few years” and said it doesn’t had not been finalized.

He added, in a statement made on social media: “We would like to point out that this is the first time that we have heard the news of a $ 5 billion education fund.”

Bytedance also claimed that it would retain an 80% stake in TikTok Global.

“China has been determined to emphasize in recent months that the country still has full control over TikTok, amid nervousness at home over the potentially divested company,” said BBC Chinese media analyst Kerry. Allen.

“When Oracle struck a deal with ByteDance last week to keep TikTok active in the US, Chinese media pointed out that the deal was ‘cooperative’ with both sides playing an equal role, rather than Oracle. bailing out the Chinese tech giant. . ”

But China could still decide that it doesn’t approve the deal, said Dr Richard Windsor, founder of research firm Radio Free Mobile.

Indeed, although Bytedance can keep the TikTok algorithm, it will still run on the American Oracle infrastructure.

“If you reverse the deal and imagine a situation where top-tier American software is running on Chinese servers where a Chinese company has full access to it, you can begin to see why China might object,” he said.

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