TikTok may be about to add Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, the owner of Softbank, to the board if the deal with Oracle succeeds, the Fox Business source said.
Four out of the remaining five board members “will be Americans,” as revealed by an Oracle executive on Fox Business on September 23.
The potential relationship between the video-sharing app TikTok and the Legendary Japanese investor comes after the latest developments on TikTok’s US operations with Oracle.
Earlier, the Trump administration said that owners of Chinese apps could threaten US national security because they have an obligation to hand over sensitive American personal information to the Beijing government. As a result, Mr. Trump extended his parent company TikTok to be forced to sell its US operations to a US corporation if he did not want to stop doing business.
The original buyers including Microsoft, but the latest announcement shows that Oracle is the winner in the acquisition of TikTok America. However, the deal did not take place in the form of off-selling. The initial leak shows that TikTok’s US operations following the Oracle deal still include founder ByteDance – TikTok’s parent company Zhang Yiming on the board. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon will become a director. The rest of the board will consist of existing investors in ByteDance such as General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital.
As for Softbank, the source said the group had explored TikTok’s purchase of assets in India last month. After the deals took place, Japanese investors became more aggressive in the group discussing buying TikTok assets in the US.
The Japanese conglomerate owns a small stake in China’s parent company TikTok. Softbank also led a group of funds that invested $ 3 billion in ByteDance in 2018.
Representatives of Softbank, ByteDance and Oracle have not responded to the above information.
Softbank has a history of investing in US tech companies including Amazon, Tesla, Netflix and Alphabet. In total, they have poured $ 3.9 billion into these companies.
Son is currently one of the richest people in Japan and his $ 100 billion Vision Fund needs to prove it works after the WeWork deal that has damaged the company. Last November, Softbank reported a loss of $ 6.5 billion.
It is not clear whether Softbank is in talks to acquire a new stake in TikTok’s US subsidiary or whether to move its existing investment into ByteDance.
The source said that Oracle is negotiating to buy a 12.5% stake in TikTok America and Walmart to buy a 7.5% stake. ByteDance still controls an 80% stake in the US subsidiary – which will become TikTok Global and headquartered in Texas once the deal is successful.