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Who owns TikTok in America? TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. In the United States, due to national security concerns, ByteDance has worked on a deal to address these issues by partnering with American companies. As of October 2021, the most recent deal proposal involved Oracle and Walmart potentially acquiring minority stakes in a new U.S.-based entity called TikTok Global.

While the deal received preliminary approval by the Trump administration in September 2020, it has not yet been finalized. Hence, TikTok is still ultimately owned by ByteDance, but the future ownership structure for TikTok in America remains uncertain and subject to regulatory review and approval.

Company History

TikTok, a popular social media app that allows users to create, share, and discover short video clips, has taken the world by storm since its launch. The app’s ownership, management, and history are quite interesting and have evolved over time. TikTok’s journey began with two separate apps: A Chinese app called Douyin, launched in September 2016, and the international version called TikTok, introduced by the same company a year later, in September 2017.

Both of these apps were developed by a Beijing-based tech company called ByteDance, which was founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012. In November 2017, ByteDance acquired a lip-syncing app called, which was popular in the American market.

ByteDance spent roughly $1 billion to purchase, intending to combine TikTok’s technology with’s user base and strengthen their position in the global market. By August 2018, ByteDance merged with TikTok, bringing together millions of users and resulting in the TikTok app that we know today.

TikTok’s ownership in America became a hot topic due to the U.S. government’s concerns over the app’s user privacy and security, as it was owned by a Chinese company. In August 2020, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban TikTok unless ByteDance sold it to an American company within 90 days. To address these concerns, ByteDance began discussions with American companies.

In September 2020, a deal was preliminarily agreed upon, involving Oracle and Walmart taking stakes in a newly created U.S.-based company, called TikTok Global. According to the proposal, Oracle would become TikTok’s cloud hosting provider and gain the right to review TikTok’s source code, ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and protecting user data.

The proposed deal would give Oracle a 12.5% stake in TikTok Global, while Walmart would acquire a 7.5% stake. ByteDance, on the other hand, would retain an approximately 80% stake, but as U.S. investors already own about 40% of ByteDance, the new structure would still be regarded as American-owned.

However, the approval of this deal has been put on hold, as it wasn’t finalized before the Trump administration left office. The Biden administration has since been reviewing the risks associated with TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps. In conclusion, TikTok originated as two separate apps developed by the Chinese tech company ByteDance and eventually combined into one. The app’s ownership has been a controversial subject in the U.S.

A deal involving Oracle and Walmart taking stakes in a newly created TikTok Global company was proposed, but the final approval remains uncertain.

Who was the Founder?

TikTok, originally known as Douyin in China, was founded in September 2016 by Zhang Yiming. Zhang was born on April 21, 1983, in Longyan, Fujian, China. He graduated from Nankai University in 2005 with a degree in software engineering.

Before starting TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, Zhang worked for several tech companies. He started out as an engineer at Kuxun, a Chinese travel website, and later moved to Microsoft. Zhang eventually left Microsoft and went on to co-found, a real estate search engine.

In 2012, Zhang started ByteDance, an internet technology company focused on developing various content platforms driven by machine learning algorithms. The first product of ByteDance was Toutiao, a personalized news recommendation platform. After the success of Toutiao, Zhang turned his attention to the short-video market and launched Douyin in China in 2016.

In 2017, ByteDance expanded its short-video platform internationally by releasing TikTok. TikTok gained massive popularity worldwide, and in 2018, ByteDance merged with, another popular short-video platform, to consolidate its market position and further boost the growth of TikTok.

FAQ: Who Owns TikTok in America

Who is the parent company of TikTok?

ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company, is the parent company of TikTok.

Who is the founder of TikTok?

Zhang Yiming is the founder of TikTok and its parent company ByteDance.

When was TikTok launched in the United States?

TikTok was launched in the United States in September 2017.

Who owns TikTok in America as of now?

As of now, ByteDance still owns TikTok in America, but a deal with Oracle and Walmart is under discussion to address the U.S. government’s security concerns.

What is the role of Oracle and Walmart in the ownership of TikTok in America?

Oracle and Walmart announced a deal to acquire 20% of TikTok’s U.S. operations in September 2020, with Oracle handling the storage and security of TikTok’s U.S. data as a trusted technology provider, while Walmart would collaborate on commercial partnerships.

Why does the US government have security concerns regarding TikTok’s ownership?

The U.S. government has expressed concerns about potential national security risks due to TikTok’s data collection practices and its Chinese ownership by ByteDance. They fear that the Chinese government might access user data and use it for espionage.

Has the ownership situation of TikTok in America been resolved?

The ownership situation of TikTok in America has not been fully resolved yet, as the deal with Oracle and Walmart is still under discussion and subject to regulatory approvals.

Sources for More Information


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