TikTok, the globally popular short video streaming platform owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, has completed migrating information on its US users to servers at Oracle Corporation, in a move that could address US regulatory concerns over data integrity, Reuters reported on June 17. The news has been confirmed by the company.
Oracle discussed acquiring a minority stake in TikTok in 2020, when ByteDance was under pressure from US authorities to sell the app. On September 14, 2020, Oracle said it had reached an agreement with ByteDance to become its “trusted technology provider,” but the agreement still needs to be approved by the US government.
After the deal with Oracle, ByteDance will delete the private data of US users from its own data center, and will completely store them on Oracle’s servers in the US. At present, Virginia and Singapore centers are still used to back up data.
According to sources, TikTok has also set up a special US data security management team called “USDS,” which acts as the gatekeeper to domestic user information and isolates it from ByteDance. TikTok is discussing a structure under which the team will operate autonomously and will not be controlled or supervised by TikTok.
Former US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on August 6, 2020, requiring ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US business to a domestic company within 45 days, otherwise it would face a ban.
From September 20, 2020, US companies were prohibited from conducting business transactions with TikTok, and the statement also prohibits US companies from providing services “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the US” through WeChat. TikTok objected and continued to push forward a lawsuit against the executive order.
On June 9, 2021, current US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to revoke Trump’s ban on social platforms TikTok and WeChat. Instead, the US Commerce Secretary will be instructed to investigate apps linked to foreign “adversaries,” which the US government believes may pose risks to the country’s data privacy and national security.