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Donald Trump agrees to Oracle deal for the purchase of TikTok in US

Trump approved in principle a deal in which major Oracle and Walmart would partner with TikTok.

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President Donald Trump has approved a deal between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle (ORCL), after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app which he claims poses a national security threat because of its Chinese ties.

The department of Commerce confirmed in a statement on Saturday evening, September 19, that it would delay an order to remove TikTok from Apple and Google’s US app stores to September 27, giving the companies more time to finalise the details of the deal.

ByteDance will continue to be majority owner of TikTok under the agreement Trump said he approved, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Speaking with reporters at the White House on Saturday, Trump said he had given his “blessing” to a partnership between TikTok and US firms Oracle and Walmart.

“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.”

The deal will also include Wal-Mart (WMT), Trump said, adding that “the security will be 100 percent. They’ll be using separate clouds and very, very powerful security.”

Reuters reported that the new company, named TikTok Global, will have a majority of US directors, a US chief executive, and a security expert on the board.

Trump said the deal will also include a $5 billion fund for US education, and that TikTok would be incorporated in Texas as a new company.

“They’re going to be setting up a very large fund,” Trump said. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for.”

TikTok confirmed in a statement that Oracle and Walmart will together hold up to a 20% share.

“As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied,” TikTok said. “We are currently working with Wal-Mart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global’s headquarters in the US, while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.”

Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a statement: “As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” said Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale, and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world. This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”

Walmart also confirmed the deal in a statement and revealed that Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon would serve on its five-member board.

“We are excited about our potential investment in and commercial agreements with TikTok Global,” Wal-Mart said in a statement, adding it will also “enter into commercial agreements to provide our ecommerce, fulfillment, payments and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global.”

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TECH NEWS

WhatsApp shares updated plans for its new privacy policy

WhatsApp has shared its updated plans and asking users to review and accept its updated terms and privacy policy.

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In an effort to maintain its users’ trust globally, WhatsApp has shared its updated plans and asking users to review and accept its updated terms and privacy policy.

The company noted that it will be sharing its values and updates to its users through the status feature available on WhatsApp.

In the coming weeks, Whatsapp plans to display a banner on their App that will provide users with information on its new privacy policies that they can read at their own pace. And they will subsequently remind users to review and accept these updates to keep using the platform.

Over 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day and more will want to do this in the future.

WhatsApp charges businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp – not people. So, this new update is about optional business features that are a part of the broader efforts to make communicating with a business secure, better, and easier for everyone.

The company is building a business that puts people in control – what people choose to send to a business is up to them, not to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp also reminded its users that they are committed to protecting users’ privacy and security, so personal messages will always have end-to-end encryption, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.

In case you missed it

  • Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced that it will start sharing users’ personal information with Facebook.
  • The tech giants got a lot of backlash from people concerning this privacy update and they have worked round the clock to clear the misinformation.
  • Whatsapp’s new policy forced some users to seek Signal and Telegram as an alternative, as they consequently both experience a surge in downloads.
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Jumia plans to spin off logistics and payment unit in a bid to become profitable

Jumia Technologies is laying out longer-term plans to spin off divisions and enter new countries.

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Jumia Technologies announced a plan to spin off its logistic unit in Africa in a bid to boost revenues, which have been helped by the pandemic as e-commerce activities rose during the period.

This was disclosed by Co-Chief Executive Officer, Sacha Poignonnec, who said its time Jumia lays the foundation for future growth, in a Bloomberg report.

He added that the unit to be focused on is responsible for goods transport in 11 Africa countries it has operations in, including Nigeria and also the payments unit of the company, which enables Jumia to settle transactions.

The co-CEO said the company is exploring spinning off both units.

We created something that does not really exist in Africa, which is an end-to-end logistics partner on the continent. We have built it from the get-go so that one day we are in the position to carve it out if we want to.

Poignonnec added that Jumia in recent years has opened up its logistic units, enabling 3rd party suppliers in negotiating shipping and transport costs.

The focus is on reducing losses and controlling costs, and deciding where to allocate our resources. No one questions the relevance of e-commerce as a business — and the opportunity in Africa is massive. Seven years ago, people were questioning how we are even going to do this, now the only question remains on profitability.”

He also added that as Jumia exits operations in some African markets, it still sees opportunities in some, especially Ethiopia, as being African focused enables the company and shareholders to have an exposure to the entire continent, citing institutional investors like MTN and MasterCard working with Jumia across the continent.

Jumia’s stock price has increased by more than 500% in the past 12 months.

What you should know 

It was reported in August that Jumia recorded a loss after tax of N17 billion in the second quarter of 2020, despite the rampaging effect of COVID-19.

It was also reported last month that apart from the rebounding stock price, the company is recording positives in almost all performance indices in the year 2020.

In the Q3 financial results released on 10 November 2020, Jumia’s gross profit was €23.2 million ($27.3 million), a YoY increase of 22 percent.

Jumia’s gross profit after fulfilment expense reached €6.6 million, compared to a loss of €1.7 million in the third quarter of 2019, marking the first time that the Jumia Group scored a positive in its gross profit after fulfilment and advertising expenses.

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Sanwo-Olu launches Nigeria’s first electric car, to complete Lagos-Badagry expressway

Sanwo-Olu unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, November 13, 2020, unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

The car, which is a product of Stallion Group, was launched at the VON Automobiles Nigeria in Ojo, Lagos State where the car was manufactured.

The new Kona, an Electric car is regarded in European motoring industry as the world’s number one, with the cost, put at about N24 million

While speaking during the unveiling of the product, Sanwo-Olu observed that VON has over 40 to 50 years of vehicle manufacturing history, when they were assembling various Volkswagen products.

The governor was full of commendation for Stallion Group for the noble initiative, just as he promised that Lagos State Government will make provisions for electricity charging points for the vehicle across the state, to make it easy for users to enjoy their Electric Vehicles (EV).

The Governor also promised the completion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which was started under the administration of former governor of the state, Babatunde Fasola, in order to facilitate business activities in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos-Badagry Expressway which has been expanded from 2 to 10 lanes will soon be complete, we are not rushing the road; we are building a first-class road construction project.’

The Managing Director, VON Automobiles, Mr Rohtagi Manish, while explaining the essence of the launch, pointed out that Kona will change things positively in the Nigerian auto market.

According to Manish, the changes in global temperature and weather patterns are seen today are caused by human activity. Kona, he said, is one way to respond to the global weather challenges, so as to achieve a greener environment.

This appears to be a huge boost for the promoters of more environmentally friendly automobile and subsequently promote a green environment. This will also help to drive the Federal Government’s efforts to shift focus from petrol-based automobile to vehicles with a cheaper source of energy

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