Sen Hawley Wants TikTok Deal With Oracle Rejected, Says Move Allows For China’s Control Over The App

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Sen. Josh Hawley called on the Trump administration Monday to reject the partnership proposal Oracle reached with TikTok.

The Missouri Republican argued in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the partnership won’t prohibit the Chinese Communist Party from controlling the app. Hawley said the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is responsible for approving or rejecting the deal, should reject anything other than a complete break from China.

“[A]n ongoing ‘partnership’ that allows for anything other than the full emancipation of the TikTok software from potential Chinese Communist Party control is completely unacceptable, and flatly inconsistent with the President’s Executive Order of August 6,” Hawley wrote after suggesting the app might have to undergo a ban if ByteDance does not find a buyer. (RELATED: Here’s Why Tech Experts Believe TikTok Deal With Big Trump Tech Ally Won’t Solve Security Problems)

A Chinese woman adjusts a Chinese flag near US flags before the start of a Strategic Dialogue expanded meeting between China and the US during the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 10, 2014. (NG HAN GUAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A Chinese woman adjusts a Chinese flag  (NG HAN GUAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Details about the partnership between Oracle and TikTok are unknown, and its unclear whether the agreement includes a transfer of TikTok’s algorithms. China amended laws governing export control rules in August, which reportedly restricts the sale of technologies such as TikTok’s recommendation algorithm.

Many lawmakers and American officials believe the app is a threat to national security through its collection of user data.

“ByteDance, as TikTok’s parent company, will continue to be subject to Chinese laws that put Americans’ data at risk,” Hawley wrote. “That is precisely the problem that the President’s action sought to solve, and it is that same problem that the proposed Oracle partnership leaves fully intact.”

“In short, the proposal violates the President’s executive order,” he continued.

President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders Aug. 6 prohibiting individuals from communicating with ByteDance after 45 days. The orders barred “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” with ByteDance and Tencent Holdings, the parent company of WeChat

Trump suggested on Aug. 3 that he is amenable to the idea of Microsoft purchasing the upstart Chinese company, so long as the acquisition comes by Sept. 15. Twitter has also reportedly expressed an interest about a possible combination.

Trump also said a portion of profits from a potential sale should go to the United States Treasury.

Oracle’s co-founder, Larry Ellison, reportedly hosted a fundraiser for the president in February and told Forbes in April that he supports Trump and hopes he does well.

Neither the Treasury Department nor the White House responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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