Oracle is the latest company to join the race to acquire TikTok, even as Microsoft has made its intentions of acquiring the popular short video app public, Financial Times reported. Oracle is said to be in preliminary talks with TikTok parent, Bytedance, and is reportedly considering acquiring TikTok’s operations in US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, just like Microsoft. The company is working with a group of US investors that already have a stake in Bytedance, including General Atlantic, and Sequoia Capital, the report said. We have reached out to TikTok for more details.

The development comes just days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing Bytedance to divest from its American assets and its rights to any user data that TikTok gathered in the country, within 90 days. The executive order also prohibits Bytedance from selling TikTok to a third party, until it notifies the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in writing of the intended recipient or buyer.

Microsoft has emerged as the frontrunner to buy TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, even as several Microsoft employees have called the deal “unethical”. Twitter has also emerged as a potential suitor for TikTok according to multiple reports. However, FT said that there are concerns about Twitter’s ability to finance the deal. Apple was also rumoured to be interested, until the company denied the speculation.

In fact, Microsoft is interested in buying TikTok’s operations globally, particularly in Europe and India,  as per a separate Financial Times report. India had banned TikTok along with 58 other ‘Chinese’ apps in June over national security and privacy concerns. While the app currently remains unserviceable in India, telecom major Reliance Jio has also shown its interest in acquiring the app’s Indian operations, according to multiple reports. Before the ban in India, TikTok had over 200 million users in the country, and was its biggest market, in terms of user base.

Also read: Microsoft-TikTok: On Global ambitions, Geopolitics, IPO plans, Big Tech and the splinternet