TikTok threatened in the United States: China denounces “thug methods”

Beijing does not hide its anger

TikTok threatened in the United States: China denounces “thug methods”

Beijing does not hide its anger. After a vote in the American Congress which reinforces the threat of banning the Chinese application TikTok in the United States in the name of national security, China denounced “thug methods” on Thursday March 14.

“If a so-called pretext of national security can be used to arbitrarily exclude successful companies from other countries, then there is no longer any fairness or justice,” Wang Wenbin, a door -spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “When someone sees a good thing from another person and wants to take it from them, these are definitely thug methods,” he added.

The bill adopted Wednesday by the House of Representatives gives the network six months to cut all ties with China, and expropriate ByteDance, which owns the application, otherwise it would be excluded from Apple and Apple's application stores. Google in the United States. This is a major development for the app, although the outcome of the upcoming Senate vote remains uncertain as high-profile figures oppose the measure.

“The text voted on in the American House of Representatives goes against the principle of fair competition and international rules on economics and trade,” said Wang Wenbin. “The United States must (…) stop pressure intended to unfairly exclude foreign companies” from their market, declared a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, warning that China “will take all necessary measures” to defend its businesses. He did not specify what these measures could consist of.

“Make yourself heard.”

Shortly before the official Chinese reaction, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew called on his 170 million users in the United States to react. “Make yourself heard,” he said on TikTok and on the social network X after the vote, less than eight months before the November presidential election. “We will not stop defending you and we will continue to do everything in our power, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this amazing platform we have built with you,” he added. .

The leader estimated that the law endangered “300,000 jobs” in the United States, threatening in particular to deprive “small businesses that depend on TikTok” of “billions of dollars” in revenue.

TikTok has been in the crosshairs of American authorities for several months, with many officials believing that the application of short and entertaining videos allows Beijing to spy on and manipulate American citizens. The Chinese group fiercely contests these allegations, denies having transmitted information to the Chinese authorities and assures that it would refuse any possible request to this effect.

The law, adopted by a large majority, by 352 votes to 65, “does not ban TikTok,” argued the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries. “It aims to address legitimate national security and data protection concerns related to the Chinese Communist Party's dealings with a social network,” he explained.

“This process was carried out in secret and the text presented urgently for one reason: it is a ban,” reacted a TikTok spokesperson to Agence France-Presse.