China has accused the US of abusing its national security laws to target Chinese companies after Washington threatened to ban video-sharing app TikTok from its shores last week.
On Saturday, the Trump administration vowed to "close down" the Chinese-owned video-sharing app unless it is bought by a "very American" company within 45 days.
Washington has repeatedly raised concerns that TikTok's developer ByteDance is too close to the Chinese government. Washington worries that such ties could put the personal information of 100m American users into the hands of the Chinese government.
China hit back at a press conference on Tuesday, where Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of Affairs, said: "For a while, without providing any evidence, the United States has stretched the concept of national security and abused its state power to bring down certain non-US enterprises."
“Such practice goes against market economy rules and the WTO principles of openness, transparency, and non-discrimination. It is a blatant act of bullying, which China firmly opposes."
Microsoft is currently in discussions to buy the social media biz from its parent company, ByteDance. After a call with President Trump, Microsoft said on Monday it would "move quickly to pursue discussions" with a view to completing them by September 15 at the latest.
Microsoft has promised a "complete security review” of the company and to implement a “world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections” if the deal goes through.
China, which has made access to Facebook, Google, and Twitter all-but-impossible for the better part of a decade, argues that Washington’s heavy-handedness lays bare “the hypocrisy of the so-called fair competition touted by the United States” and has called for the Trump administration to “refrain from politicizing economic issues”. ®