US tech giant Microsoft said overnight on Sunday its offer to buy TikTok was rejected, leaving Oracle as the sole remaining bidder ahead of a looming deadline for the Chinese-owned video app to sell or shut down its US operations.
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that Oracle had won the bidding war, citing people familiar with the deal, although the company did not immediately confirm the matter.
The Oracle bid would next need approval from the White House and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a source told the Journal, with both parties under the belief it would meet US data security concerns.
TikTok has been at the centre of a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing, and President Donald Trump has given Americans a deadline to stop doing business with TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance – effectively compelling a sale of the app to a US company.
Microsoft had indicated at the beginning of August that it was interested in acquiring TikTok's US operations, but said on Sunday that bid had been rejected.
"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft," the US tech giant said in a statement.
"We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests," it added. (AFP)