The coronavirus pandemic aided or at least coincided with a high demand for videosharing app TikTok in app stores around the globe. Analytics platform Airnow Data counted almost 76 million monthly downloads in March of 2020 and a still respectable 44.6 million in August. This puts the app firmly ahead of competitors for 2020 downloads.
But the success of the platform has been anything but rosy for Chinese owner ByteDance, which stands accused of breaching data security, especially in regard to shielding the user data it collects from the Chinese government. The app has been banned in India over similar concerns, following a border dispute between the country and China. In early August, the U.S. gave ByteDance a 45-day deadline to sell the U.S. operations of TikTok or get banned also. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Oracle would be taking over the app’s U.S. business, but characterized the deal as more of a partnership agreement. It was unclear, the WSJ reported, whether knowledge of any algorithms would be transferred.
Microsoft had been the main contender for the takeover, but according to a WSJ source, had more ambitious plans for the undertaking.