Oracle CEO donated $ 250,000 to Lindsey Graham’s reelection campaign hours before the TikTok deal was revealed
A top executive at one of the nation’s leading tech companies donated $ 250,000 to a super Political Action Committee (PAC) in support of Senator Lindsey Graham’s reelection campaign when his company struck a coveted deal to become TikTok’s US technology partner.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has donated the quarter of a million dollars to the Security is Strength PAC, which pays for ads that support Graham in his reelection bid, The edge reported.
The donation, described as unusually large for Ellison, was made on September 14 – just hours before Oracle announced that Beijing-based social media platform TikTok had been selected as its cloud technology provider.
Oracle avoided competition from Microsoft and a number of other high-profile bidders to save the popular app after President Trump promised to ban it in the US over data sharing concerns unless it was sold by China-based parent company, Byte Dance.
Ellison’s deal was applauded by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others, but also drew criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle. Dissenters said the settlement still failed to address concerns about ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese government.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has donated the quarter of a million dollars to the Security is Strength PAC, which pays for ads that support Graham in his reelection bid, The Verge reported.
The image above shows a receipt for Ellison’s donation, as shown on the Federal Election Commission website
Graham was reportedly pivotal in winning the deal, though it’s unclear, according to The Verge, if he had any influence on the specific companies involved.
In August, Graham said Vanity Fair that he called Trump personally to suggest that he find an American company to buy the platform to allay the White House concerns about ByteDance’s ties to Beijing.
“Let Microsoft or someone buy it, give it to American hands, and let the platform survive and thrive because so many people enjoy it,” the senator said telling Trump this summer.
“If TikTok is saved, you can thank me,” he added.
The deal was also a possible windfall for Oracle, which will receive a lucrative contract from TikTok to engage their services.
As part of the deal, parent company ByteDance will still own 80 percent of the app. But because ByteDance is 40 percent owned by US investors, the new TikTok Global will technically be majority US-owned.
The deal was signed with Walmart, with the two companies forming TikTok Global, which will be headquartered in Texas and could potentially create 25,000 new jobs.
Oracle has announced that it has been chosen as TikTok’s secure cloud provider and will become a minority investor with a 12.5 percent stake.
Walmart said it has tentatively agreed to a 7.5 percent stake in TikTok and that CEO Doug McMillon would serve as one of the newly formed company’s five board members.
Parent company ByteDance, meanwhile, will own the remaining 80 percent of the app. But because ByteDance is 40 percent owned by US investors, the new TikTok Global will technically be majority US-owned.
TikTok Global said it will push for more US ownership with a public offering of shares next year.
Oracle’s deal with TikTok was signed with Walmart, with the two companies forming TikTok Global, headquartered in Texas and potentially 25,000 new jobs.
The deal has yet to be signed by Beijing. Chinese authorities have said they would not allow ByteDance to sell the algorithms used by TikTok, which are believed to hold much of the value for the app.
But Graham continued to encourage the deal as it progressed, writing on Twitter the day the deal was announced: “ Great decision by President Trump to approve the sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart.
Great for American consumers who are protected from the Chinese Communist Party. Well done, Mr. President, ”he said.
Graham is currently in the final stages of a brutal fundraising battle against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who has raised the most money in the history of a Senate campaign.
On Thursday, Politics reported that the three-year senator has a slight lead against Harrison among likely voters, 46 percent to 40 percent.
Harrison, however, raised $ 57 million in the third quarter of this year, putting Graham’s $ 28 million in insignificance, the outlet said.
“My opponent will raise $ 100 million in the state of South Carolina,” Graham said in September. “Most of the money ever spent on a senate race in this state in the history of the state was by me in 2014 when I spent $ 13 million.”