President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that the TikTok deal he gave his “blessing” to involved a $5 billion education fund for the United States, but ByteDance claims it didn’t hear of this until media reports emerged.
What Happened: “They are going to pay $5bn into a fund for education so we can educate people as to the real history of our country. We are getting very close to that deal,” the president had told his supporters on Saturday in North Carolina, the Financial Times reported.
ByteDance, in a Chinese social media post on Sunday, said it was the first time it was hearing of such a fund, according to Reuters.
“The company has been committed to investing in the education field, and plans to work with partners and global shareholders to launch online classroom projects based on AI and video technology for students around the world,” the TikTok parent said on Toutiao.
ByteDance, Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL), and Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) have agreed to create the education fund on Trump’s last-minute request but no discussions were held about the $5 billion commitment or any specific amount, people familiar with the matter told FT.
Why It Matters: On Sunday, Trump gave his nod to the TikTok-Oracle deal but it still needs to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
The education fund would allow Trump to claim victory against detractors who criticize the deal for allowing ByteDance, and by extension, China’s influence over TikTok, unnamed sources told the FT.
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