Database giant Oracle is interested in acquiring popular Chinese-owned short video app TikTok, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the FT reported Oracle wants to purchase TikTok's operations in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and has already held initial discussions with app owner Bytedance.
The company is currently working with many US investors, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, which have a stake in the Chinese firm.
Oracle's approach follows Microsoft's announcement earlier this month, where it said that it was exploring a deal to buy TikTok's operations in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. A later report claimed that the company was also considering purchasing all of TikTok's global operations, including its business in Europe and India.
TikTok currently faces a ban in the USA, and American tech firms have been jumping at the chance to purchase the widely used app and keep it running in the country.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting US residents and firms from doing business with TikTok, beginning in September. TikTok owner Bytedance has also been ordered to sell TikTok's US operations by November, or face an outright ban in the country.
Trump has repeatedly accused the app of automatically capturing a large amount of user data, including their browsing history and location details. In his executive order, Trump said that the US "must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security".
Oracle's interest poses a threat to Microsoft's bid, which is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race to buy the app. Micro-blogging platform Twitter is also said to be exploring a deal to acquire TikTok, although there are doubts regarding its ability to raise the required capital to do so.
But Oracle, which was the world's second-largest software firm by revenue and market capitalisation last year, could fund a potential acquisition.
Oracle's co-founder Larry Ellison is a vocal supporter of President Trump, and this year hosted a fundraiser for the US president at his estate.
It is, however, unclear whether Oracle would be the White House's preferred choice for a TikTok acquisition.
Twitter is said to be only looking at TikTok’s US operations - unlike Microsoft, which wants the whole package
Meanwhile, President Trump has signed an executive order to curtail US transactions with TikTok
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