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ByteDance Asserts Control of TikTok and Contests $5 Billion Fee

  • TikTok’s owner assures users it maintains a tight grip
  • ByteDance’s Zhang and current directors make up TikTok’s board
TikTok Branding As Oracle Is Said to Win Deal For US Operations
Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

ByteDance Ltd. emphasized it will remain in control of a hived-off TikTok Global business, appearing to contradict President Donald Trump’s statements about how the new entity will be directed by Americans and pay an unusual $5 billion fee to the U.S. government.

The world’s most valuable startup sought to play down speculation it’s giving up control of valuable Chinese technology and assets after striking a deal with Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. to create TikTok Global. ByteDance will retain full control of its prized social media algorithms and allow Oracle only limited access to view source code for “safety” purposes, the company said in a statement posted to its domestic news service Toutiao Monday.