Walmart has agreed to purchase a 7.5 per cent stake in TikTok as a complex deal to keep the social media giant operating in the US is receives President Trump’s “blessing”.
Walmart and technology giant Oracle are set to collectively take a 20 per cent stake in TikTok Global in a deal which would leave its owner ByteDance with a majority stake.
On Saturday Trump tentatively said he gave his “blessing” to the “concept” of such a deal, despite ordering the app to be sold to US businesses by September 20 or be banned from the country entirely.
As around 40 per cent of ByteDance is already owned by US venture capital firms, this deal would essentially mean TikTok Global is now a majority owned US company.
Walmart’s minority stake in TikTok will see it provide services like payments, ecommerce and order fulfilment, suggesting the social media platforms push into retail could be accelerated.
It will also see Walmart’s chief executive Doug McMillon serve alongside four other on TikTok Global’s board.
“This partnership will provide Walmart with an important way for us to expand our reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace, fulfillment and advertising businesses,” Walmart said in a statement.
The deal has not yet been finalised, and the US Department of Commerce said it would delay a decision to prohibit US transactions using TikTok until next Sunday as the companies hammer out a final deal.