President Donald Trump on Saturday touted a "fantastic" deal that could see Oracle and Walmart become the US tech partners for TikTok, the day before a ban on the wildly popular app is set to go into effect over security concerns.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic deal," Trump said. "I have given the deal my blessing. If they get it done, that's great, if they don't, that's O.K. too."
Trump has claimed for weeks that TikTok -- owned by China's ByteDance -- is collecting user data for Beijing, without ever providing evidence of his allegations.
In early August, he gave ByteDance until September 20 to hand over TikTok's US operations to an American company. And on Friday, the Trump administration ordered a ban on downloads of the video-sharing app, as well as Chinese-owned messaging platform WeChat, escalating a fight with Beijing over technology.
Trump gave no further details on the deal with Oracle and Walmart, but said the "security will be 100 percent" and that the companies will use separate cloud servers.
The deal will lead to the creation of a new company, headquartered in Texas, that will have "nothing to do with China" but will still be called TikTok, according to the president. The new business will hire "at least 25,000 people," he added.
Trump also said that the companies involved will make a $5 billion contribution toward "the education of American youth." He had previously said that the federal government deserved a cut of the deal for authorizing it.
TikTok, Walmart and Oracle did not respond to AFP's request for comment.
Under Friday's US order against the Chinese apps, Tencent-owned WeChat would lose functionality in the United States from Sunday. TikTok users will be banned from installing updates but could keep accessing the service through November 12.
That timeframe potentially allows for a tie-up between TikTok and a US company to safeguard data for the wildly popular app to allay Washington's security concerns.
TikTok's brand of brief, quirky phone videos has become hugely popular, especially among young people, with 100 million users in the United States alone.
With Trump facing a tough reelection campaign, US officials have described the measures as essential to safeguard against potential Chinese espionage through the platforms.
But in response, China's Commerce Ministry on Saturday condemned what it called US "bullying," saying it violated international trade norms and that there was no evidence of any security threat, shortly before launching a mechanism that would allow it to sanction foreign companies.
China's long-expected "unreliable entities list" is seen as a weapon for Beijing to retaliate against the United States, which has used its own "entity list" to shut Chinese telecom giant Huawei out of the US market, in addition to the recent moves against TikTok and WeChat.
Trump critics have said that while TikTok's security risks were unclear, the sweeping ban raises concerns about the government's ability to regulate free expression.
The ban ramps up the battle with Beijing over technology, which some analysts say is based more on competitive than security concerns.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)