US President Donald Trump has said he believes Tiktok is close to securing a partnership deal with software giant Oracle for its operations in the country, as he threatened talks with a fresh deadline.
Washington has ordered Chinese parent Bytedance to divest completely from Tiktok’s US operations, citing national security concerns.
However the specific terms of the deal are under threat, as Bytedance is said to be planning to retain a majority stake in the company.
Current discussions have been reported to include Oracle becoming a technology partner for Tiktok to manage its US data, taking a minority stake and creating a 20,000-strong US headquarters in the process.
Trump has said he could ban Tiktok from the US as early as Sunday if a deal is not agreed.
“I heard they are very close to a deal,” Trump said, adding US officials will make a decision soon on whether to approve it.
The US president has previously described Oracle’s chairman Larry Ellison as a “great guy”, with the latter making significant donations to Trump’s campaign.
US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this week that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is overseeing the deal talks.
Chinese state media have reported Beijing is similarly disapproving of the deal terms, having updated export rules this month to include the transfer of algorithms in a bid to stop the talks from going ahead.
Reuters reported last week that China’s government would rather see Tiktok shut down in the United States than see it be part of a forced sale.