UPDATE 1-Senator Rubio urges Trump to scrap TikTok-Oracle deal if Bytedance ties remain

16 Sep 2020 / 22:58 H.

    (Adds detail from letter, file picture available)

    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on the Trump administration to reject a proposed deal for Oracle to become a "trusted technology provider" for popular social media platform TikTok's U.S. operations if ties to current Chinese owner Bytedance remain.

    Marco Rubio, the first senator to call on the administration to investigate TikTok, said in the letter to President Donald Trump that "serious questions" remained about Oracle's role, the technology it would provide to Bytedance, and the future of the application's algorithm.

    "We remain opposed to any deal that would allow China-based or controlled entities to retain, control or modify the code or algorithms that operate any U.S.-based version of TikTok," Rubio wrote in the letter, dated Wednesday.

    "We are heartened that this deal still requires government approval, and if reports indicating this proposed deal will retain links to ByteDance or other Chinese-controlled entities, we strongly urge the administration to reject such a proposal on national security grounds," he added.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

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