TikToks campus in Culver City, California.
AFP / Getty Images
The clock is ticking on TikTok after possible ways to evade President Donald Trump's promised ban on the Chinese app appeared to dry up earlier in the week.
announced on Sunday that its offer for TikTok was denied without explaining why the deal was denied. According to reports that Oracle Corp.
would become a "trusted technology partner" for TikTok parent company Bytedance, a Chinese state news source reported that Bytedance "will not sell TikTok's US operations to Oracle".
Trump originally set a September 15 deadline for the sale or ban of TikTok's U.S. operations to an American company, but his executive order set a September 20 deadline. Microsoft – that tried to bring Walmart Inc.
Oracle was reported to be the only applicants until Microsoft publicly threw in the towel on Sunday afternoon.
"ByteDance announced today that they will not sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft," said Microsoft. “We are confident that our proposal would have been good for TikTok users while protecting national security interests. To that end, we would have made significant changes to ensure that the service met the highest standards of security, privacy, online safety and the fight against disinformation, and we clarified those principles in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how service develops in these important areas. "
The crux of a sale was TikTok's underlying algorithm, which may not be transferable to a US company under the new Chinese export rules.
Reuters reported last week that it is also possible that the Chinese government may prefer not to sell at all in order not to appear weak in the face of US pressure.
TikTok, the hugely popular video sharing app, has more than 100 million users in the US. However, the Trump administration has claimed that the Chinese ownership of the app makes user data vulnerable to abuse by the Chinese government.