Trump Gives TikTok and Oracle Deal His ‘Blessing'

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

Trump Gives TikTok and Oracle Deal His ‘Blessing'


President Donald Trump told reporters he approved a deal in concept between Oracle and TikTok's parent company ByteDance in which Oracle and Walmart would partner with the app in the U.S. The move could avert the ban in U.S. app stores that was set to go into effect on Sunday.


"I have given the deal my blessing," Trump said to reporters at the White House Saturday. "If they get it done, that's great. If they don't, that's okay, too."

It is unclear whether ByteDance will remain a majority owner of TikTok.

"It will have nothing to do with China. It'll be totally secure; that'll be part of the deal," Trump said. "All of the control is Walmart and Oracle, two great American companies."

But Trump said the company, now seated in Culver City, will likely be headquartered in Texas and bring 25,000 jobs.

He added that TikTok has agreed to donate $5 billion to an education fund, which Trump said would satisfy his demand that the government receive a payment from the deal.

"They're going to be setting up a very large fund," Trump told reporters. "That's their contribution that I've been asking for."

Various outlets with reporters at the White House reported on Trump's sign off. It came after the president signed an executive order in August that called the viral social video app owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance a national security threat. It also called on the Beijing based parent company to sell TikTok to a U.S. firm or face a ban.

The administration accuses TikTok of sharing user data with the Chinese Communist government. TikTok denies the charges.

This week, the New York Times reported that TikTok is hunting for a new CEO and that Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom is being considered for the position.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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