Microsoft will not acquire TikTok's U.S. operations after ByteDance rejected the company's offer.

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant was seen as a front-runner to acquire TikTok after President Trump set a mid-September deadline for reaching an agreement to continue TikTok's U.S. operations.

Oracle is now the only other company reportedly involved in acquisition negotiations. The reported purchase price is between $20 billion and $30 billion.

Oracle might seem like an unlikely candidate given its focus on enterprise software and lack of social media market share, but it's worth noting that co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison is a Trump supporter. The acquisition could also help the company's advertising and data business, The Guardian noted. Oracle is reportedly working with TikTok's existing U.S. investors, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital.

In a statement, Microsoft said its plan to acquire TikTik would have been good for the app's users while meeting "the highest standards" for security and privacy.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft," the company said in a statement Sunday. "We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas."

The Trump administration is citing suspicions that China-based owner ByteDance is sharing user data with the Chinese government. ByteDance and TikTok have denied those allegations.

One potential roadblock to Microsoft's offer was China's new export restrictions on AI technology, which put control of TikTok's core algorithms in question.

In early August, Microsoft said it was negotiating the purchase of TikTok's service in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, planning to own and operate the service in those markets if it could reach a deal with ByteDance.

At the time, Microsoft said it "would ensure that all private data of TikTok's American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred."

Microsoft said previously it was working with Walmart on its bid.

In an executive order issued Aug. 6, Trump cited a "national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain" as the reason for the moratorium.

Trump has repeated that the federal government should be paid as part of a deal with TikTok, though The New York Times reported last month that "no one knows how that'd work."

This story was originally published on GeekWire.

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • TikTok Pays Creators as Rivals Dig In
  • Amazon Wants to Use Sears and J.C. Penny Stores as Fulfillment Centers: WSJ

          TikTok Doles Out Money to Creators, Batting Away Rivals

          Tiktok announced today the first receipts of a $200 million creator fund including several Los Angeles-based app stars. It comes as the social app faces increased competition from those trying to lure away talent and the threat of an outright ban.

          The company has promised to up their funds for rising U.S. creators to $1 billion over the coming three years.

          Among the 19 selected so far is Los Angeles-based Alex Stemplewski, a photographer who shares the impromptu photo shoots he has with strangers in public with his 9.6M followers.

          There's also Justice Alexander, one of the top Latino creators on the app, who captures quick video of the many pranks he plays on his girlfriend and daughter with his 5.4M followers.

          Well-known TikTok-er David Dobrik recently gave away a Tesla to one of his more than 20M followers as part of a sweepstakes for the most heartfelt story.

          The Creator Fund will open their applications in the middle of the month for anyone 18 years or older looking to expand their work on Tiktok. To be considered, creators must have 10,000 followers or at least 10,000 video views in the last 30 days and follow community guidelines.

          President Trump recently signed an executive order that will ban the Chinese-owned company by September 20th unless it's sold to an American company before that date. TikTok has responded by threatening legal action.

          Amazon Wants to Use Sears and J.C. Penny Stores as Fulfillment Centers: WSJ

          live.staticflickr.com

          Amazon is in talks with mall operator giant Simon Property Group to convert Sears and J.C. Penney department stores into package distribution centers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

          The discussions come as Amazon continues to grow its e-commerce empire which has helped contribute to the downfall of brick-and-mortar retailers including Sears and J.C. Penney, which both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That trend accelerated with the pandemic as malls closed and millions of consumers rely on Amazon for online shopping.

          Shares of Simon Property Group, which has 21 malls in California including the Del Amo Fashion Center, Brea Mall and Ontario Mills, jumped on the news. The company is set to report earnings after Monday's market close.

          Adding more warehouses would help Amazon speed up deliveries as the company plans to offer its Prime members 1-day delivery of their orders. Amazon posted $5.2 billion in profits in the second quarter, doubling its bottom line from the same quarter a year ago, despite spending more than $4 billion on COVID-19 initiatives.

          This story was originally appeared on GeekWire.

          Zeitworks, an under-the-radar early-stage startup based in L.A. and Seattle has raised a $4.5 million seed round.

          GeekWire uncovered the company last month. Zeitworks CEO Ryan Windham shared more details about its product and vision in an interview this week.

          Madrona Venture Group led the seed round, which included participation from JAZZ Venture Partners and dot.LA co-founder Spencer Rascoff.

          Zeitworks' software aims to optimize various business processes for insurance, financial, healthcare, and other companies.

          Read more Show less

          Trending