According to Xinhua News Agency, TikTok previously issued a statement saying that the company had submitted a plan to the US government. American Oracle said on the same day that it had reached an agreement with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to become its “trusted technology provider.” Prior to this, Microsoft seems to have been in a leading position in this transaction. On the other hand, some experts said that the company not only lacks experience in consumer services, but also has no products in the field of social media. But it is just such a company that not only won the support of President Trump, but also eventually became a “trusted technology provider.”
According to the proposal, TikTok’s headquarters will remain in the United States, and Oracle will become TikTok’s partner in data security compliance. The program does not involve technology and algorithm transfer.
What kind of existence does Oracle, which was founded for nearly half a century, exist in the scientific and technological world?
Larry Ellison: The man who supported Trump
Larry Ellison, 76, was born in New York City. At nine months old, Ellison unfortunately contracted pneumonia. So, his mother gave Ellison to her relatives to raise him. In the next 48 years, Ellison never saw his biological mother again.
During the 1970s, Ellison joined the electronics company Ampex. One of his projects at the time was to help the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) develop a database. The name of this database is called “Oracle” (Oracle).
During that time, Edgar Cod, who worked at IBM, proposed the relational model theory for the first time and published a paper describing the “relational database system”. Affected by Cod’s paper, Ellison and two colleagues founded the “Software Development Lab” company (the predecessor of Oracle) in 1977.
Today, Oracle has nearly 140,000 employees. Ellison stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2014. But as of the end of 2019, he still holds a 36.2% stake in Oracle. According to Forbes data, as of June 2020, Ellison has a personal wealth of US$66.8 billion, making him the seventh richest person in the world. In addition, he is also a director of Tesla’s board of directors.
But Ellison’s most distinctive feature is that he is one of the few tech predators who openly support President Trump. He said: “We can only have one president in a period of time. I don’t think he (Trump) is evil. I support him and I hope that he will do better.” He did not forget to add that he Will support anyone who enters the White House.
Although he did not admit it, the action has said everything.
According to reports, on February 19, 2020, Ellison hosted a fundraising event for Trump’s re-election at his home. Those who donate $100,000 can play golf with the president; those who donate $250,000 can sit down and chat with the president.
In February of this year, Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump’s re-election at his mansion in Southern California
Less than two months later, an epidemic broke out in the United States. At this time, Ellison was said to be the first to talk to Trump, suggesting to him to use the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the new crown virus disease.
If you still have an impression, you will remember that at the press conference at that time, the president rashly promoted the efficacy of this drug against the new crown virus disease without scientific support. It is said that this is the direct result of the exchange between Ellison and Trump.
Although many medical experts believed that the drug may have potential side effects, and the efficacy of the treatment of new coronavirus disease has not been verified, and many technology companies are reluctant to take this muddy water, but Ellison’s Oracle company is active Participate in planned drug research. Ellison convened a team, composed of Oracle engineers and officials from the FDA and the National Institutes of Health, to develop a database of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States to help doctors record treatment plans and curative effects, including the treatment of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine Program.
For this, Oracle also won the praise of the Minister of Health Alex Azza. He said: “The cooperation between Oracle and the Ministry of Health and the Trump administration to provide data-driven solutions is another tangible result of the president’s national anti-epidemic campaign.”
In mid-August, when it was reported that Oracle was interested in bidding for TikTok’s business in the United States, President Trump unsparingly expressed his support for Oracle, saying that Oracle “is a great company” and “I believe Oracle will definitely This matter can be handled well”.
Walk through the trough and get rid of competitors
In 2019, Oracle became the world’s second-largest software company by revenue and market value, second only to Microsoft.
It is not easy for Oracle, which has been established for almost half a century, to develop into a multinational technology company of this scale. During these 43 years, Oracle has had peaks, troughs, and uninterrupted controversy.
The first ten years was the golden age of Oracle’s development. The company released five versions of the Oracle database almost every two years. Revenue has grown rapidly from USD 55 million when it went public in March 1986 to USD 584 million in 1989. The good development momentum also allowed the company to relocate its headquarters from the original Menlo Park to the current Redwood Beach area.
But soon, the first wave of crisis came. At that time, Oracle adopted a “prepaid model” marketing strategy. Under this strategy, company sales staff encourage potential customers to buy a lot of software at once. In order to increase their sales commissions, salespeople record future license revenues in the current quarter.
In the early stage, the company’s sales data were indeed impressive. But over time, the problem was exposed. In the quarter of early 1990, Oracle’s revenue rose 54%, but the company’s net profit grew only 1%. For this reason, Oracle had to readjust its financial report twice, and then faced a class action lawsuit for “exaggerating the financial report data”. The brand reputation was hit and the company was even on the verge of bankruptcy. Later, Ellison himself said that Oracle “made a terrible business mistake.”
Oracle Corporate Headquarters
Taking advantage of Oracle’s fall from the altar, other competitors rose up. In 1994, Informix became Oracle’s biggest competitor. In the next three years, Informix CEO Phil White seemed to be clamoring with Ellison, and disputes between the two often appeared on the front pages of the media.
Informix claims that Oracle has hired its engineers to disclose important trade secrets about its upcoming products. However, Informix finally abandoned its lawsuit against Oracle in 1997. Then, White bought a billboard near Oracle’s headquarters and wrote on the billboard: Oracle’s software “has a problem” and that Ellison is “an escaped warrior”…
It may be that he wanted to beat Ellison too much. Instead of defeating Oracle, the almost crazy White did not beat Oracle. Instead, his company made the same mistakes that Oracle made a few years ago. But unlike Ellison, White went to jail. The billboards were still there, but Informix had already faded out of the market and was later acquired by IBM.
For many years to come, Oracle will dominate the database market. In 2004, the company’s sales increased by 14.2% to 6.2 billion US dollars, and the company’s share of the relational database market is unmatched.
Open the domineering acquisition model
Although Oracle has a leading edge in the relational database market. However, in the enterprise application market, Germany’s SAP is still ranked first, and the second is Peoplesoft, which has just acquired JD Edwards. PeopleSoft acquired JD Edwards to better compete with Oracle and IBM. But what I didn’t expect was that after PeopleSoft completed the acquisition, it faced a hostile takeover by Oracle.
Why is it a hostile takeover? According to former PeopleSoft employees who had experienced the acquisition turmoil at the time, Oracle did not directly make a takeover offer to PeopleSoft’s management and board of directors, but made an offer to PeopleSoft shareholders. In essence, this has constituted a hostile takeover. Not to mention, the initial bid was similar to PeopleSoft’s stock price at the time (and possibly lower).
Although later, in February 2004, Oracle raised its bid to $9.4 billion, the PeopleSoft board of directors still rejected it. Immediately afterwards, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to try to stop Oracle on the grounds that the acquisition might violate antitrust laws. In order to protect itself, PeopleSoft also launched a “poison pill plan” – that is, to issue more shares to prevent hostile takeovers; Provide customers with a money-back guarantee program to increase Oracle’s acquisition costs…
After 18 months of tug-of-war, Oracle finally announced in December 2004 that it had signed a decisive merger agreement to acquire PeopleSoft at a price of US$26.5 per share (approximately US$10.3 billion). One month later, Oracle laid off 6,000 PeopleSoft employees.
The acquisition of PeopleSoft expanded Oracle’s territory in the fields of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and human resource management (HCM) software, and replaced PeopleSoft as the second largest enterprise application software field.
The successful acquisition of PeopleSoft has also greatly promoted the confidence and ambition of Ellison and Oracle. Through the experience of this successful acquisition—or hostile takeover—to be precise, Oracle has since started a domineering acquisition model, stepping on the opponent’s “corpse.” Stride forward.
For example, in order to expand the customer relationship management (CRM) software market, Oracle spent 5.8 billion US dollars to acquire Siebel software company (Siebel), and won a large part of the CRM software market; to improve and consolidate the competitiveness of cloud computing services, Oracle Successively acquired cloud computing company NetSuite ($9.3 billion) and data science project cloud platform DataScience.com.
The acquisition of Sun Microsystems is another transaction of great significance to Oracle, marking Oracle’s transformation from a pure software company to a software and hardware manufacturer.
However, this transaction is also full of controversy. Sun Microsystems owns software assets such as Java and Solaris. Java is a general-purpose software platform, and the operating system Solaris uses open source code, called the OpenSolaris project. These software assets are also important to some companies in the open source community, so they worry that Oracle will end Sun Microsystems’ traditional support for open source projects. Moreover, through the acquisition of Oracle, which obtained the Java patent, he turned around and took Google to court.
Win over the White House, fight against Google and Amazon
Larry Ellison’s close relationship with President Trump seems to be true. But he never admitted that he had donated money to Trump’s campaign. And the federal campaign report also confirmed that he did not provide any funds to any candidates between 2016 and 2020.
But his company is different.
Federal records show that Oracle’s CEO Safra Katz has donated more than $130,000 to support Trump’s reelection; another company executive, Jeffrey Henry, has donated more than $55,000. Last year, Oracle also provided $500,000 to $99.9 million in funding for an organization established by Republicans to promote the president’s North American trade agreement.
In addition, Safra Katz is also the only executive of a large technology company to join the executive committee of the Trump administration’s transition team.
By wooing the White House, Oracle has become more and more unscrupulous, and has no mercy against competitors.
Ten years ago, Oracle obtained a patent for Java technology due to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Later, Oracle and Google tried to reach an agreement, by Oracle to grant Google a license to use Java, so that Google can develop programs for mobile devices using the Android operating system. However, the agreement was not negotiated, and Google finally developed its own platform based on Java. And this new platform still mixes some Java files.
In 2010, Oracle filed a lawsuit against the Java files used by Google, accusing the latter of infringement. Although this lawsuit can be divided into several stages, it seems that there is still no conclusion so far.
During the past ten years, the two companies took turns to appeal. The most recent result was that in March 2018, the Court of Appeal again ruled Google infringement. Google continues to appeal. Subsequently, the Supreme Court decided to accept Google’s appeal and review the previous ruling. Originally, the review was scheduled for March 2020, but due to the epidemic, it was postponed to early October this year.
Katz at Trump Tower
However, in February of this year, shortly after Ellison organized a fundraising event for Trump at home (even though Ellison claimed that he was not at home that day), the Trump administration submitted a non-party opinion. The statement expressed support for Oracle’s persistence over the past decade.
After failing to compete for the US Department of Defense’s $10 billion cloud service contract, Oracle again accused the relationship between Amazon Web Services and three Department of Defense officials of “undermining” the fairness of the bidding process.
But Oracle, Trump, and the White House have different relationships. Didn’t they encounter opposition from employees? Of course there is. Larry Ellison, who just goes his own way, is not. More importantly, Oracle’s business model is geared towards enterprises and governments, and which party it is close to will not affect its brand reputation. What Oracle has to do is to choose the right team and develop its own business. According to people familiar with the matter, when Trump was about to take office four years ago, when other technology companies were still shocked, Oracle had already started discussing business cooperation with the new government.
Drive Microsoft out of the earth
Oracle and Microsoft, or Larry Ellison and Bill Gates, are not just competitors, they are rivals.
At the end of the 1990s, Microsoft went on a rampage in the market, and it had already provoked many competitors to look at him. In 1997, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4.0, winning half of the browser market. While Microsoft was enjoying the joy of victory, the US federal government initiated an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing Microsoft of abusing its monopoly position and forcing the bundling of browser software Internet Explorer into its personal computer operating system Windows, thereby suppressing other browsers on the market ( Netspace Navigator and Opera).
There was nothing wrong with Ellison and Oracle. However, when the judge in the court showed Microsoft a lot of detailed evidence that even Bill Gates, the CEO at the time, didn’t know much about himself, Microsoft realized that there might be an “inner ghost” within the company. After investigation and later media reports, people finally knew that Ellison hired private detectives to find evidence against Microsoft from Microsoft’s trash. A big company used such a trick to spy on the enemy without even letting go of the garbage. It is really a bit unconvincing. This is the “garbage door incident” that made a lot of noise 20 years ago.
Knowing the truth, Gates yelled at Ellison as a “rogue” and “rogue”, but Ellison proudly defended that it was a “public service” and “I stand on the side of all mankind… Gates goes to war”. And, when asked how he would feel if his company was investigated in this way, Ellison said straightforwardly: “We will send the garbage to Microsoft headquarters, and they can check it as they want. We don’t have any shame. secret.”
Ellison and Gates are in the same frame
No matter how furious Gates is, Ellison always aims to drive Microsoft out of the earth. Microsoft dominated the personal computer market. Ellison launched a browser-based “network computer” and announced that “PC is dead.” As a result, the PC was not dead, but the Windows 98 operating system was a great success. Computers have gradually withdrawn from the market.
If the PC market is broken, start with the advantageous database field. In 2001, Oracle released the Oracle 9i database. Ellison boasted that websites using Oracle 9i are 3 times faster than using Microsoft SQL. Then, the media god assisted and found that Microsoft’s own website server also uses Oracle 9i. Although Microsoft clarified the rumors for the first time, this wave of publicity still gave Oracle a big advantage.
Today, Oracle, which is almost blank in consumer services and social media, has once again defeated Microsoft. This time, Microsoft probably lost to that little network. Even if this is “a business decision, not a political decision,” Larry Ellison’s personal relationship and the relationship between Oracle and the White House are still difficult to ignore.
As Eric Schiff, chairman of the private equity firm Patriarch Organization, said, Microsoft’s personal connections cannot be compared with Ellison.
“In order to win this deal, Microsoft has done everything they can, just wearing a MAGA hat and appearing at the rally to cheer,” he said. “There is no doubt that compared to most other companies, Microsoft has done well enough, and has a good relationship with the White House and Trump. But compared to Ellison, it’s still a bit worse.”