White House forcing TikTok to divest US operations in 90 days is unjustifiable: FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/17 17:21:31

A girl plays in a TikTok-themed room at the Smile Safari, an Instagram and TikTok museum, in Brussels, Belgium, August 7, 2020. After taking measures against the coronavirus, the Smile Safari museum reopened recently to the public, encouraging visitors to take and share photos and videos via Instagram and TikTok. Photo:Xinhua

The US should stop cracking down on foreign companies without justification, said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday. 

His comments came in response to the latest US executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Friday relating to short-video platform TikTok.

"Recently, on the TikTok issue, the Chinese side has attempted to discuss the facts, truth and reason. Here I would like to add two more points," said Zhao.

First, executive positions at all levels at TikTok's US operations are being held by Americans. Its operations teams are all local, and the company employs 1,500 Americans and has promised to create 10,000 jobs in the US.

TikTok US' servers are located in the US, and its data centers are placed in the US and Singapore. TikTok also makes its auditing policy and algorithm source code public. 

It should be noted that TikTok meets almost all the demands made by the US side, but still cannot escape being plundered by some Americans for the sake of political expediency. Several US politicians insist on making something out of nothing in order to plunder TikTok's US operations.

Second, in the eyes of some US politicians, 'national security' has become the US' catch-all reason for suppressing foreign companies, Zhao added.

Even though the CIA's assessment found no evidence that China had intercepted TikTok data or used TikTok to hack into users' phones, the US still claims that TikTok and other companies harm US national security. Even a US thinktank has claimed that banning an app just because it belongs to a Chinese company was unethical.

Zhao added that such bullying is a blatant repudiation of the market economy and the principles of fair competition. It violates international trade rules and harms the interests of other countries. It will also harm the interests of the US itself.

"We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, stop smearing and discrediting China, and stop unreasonably cracking down on other countries' businesses," Zhao said.

According to an order released by the White House on Friday, ByteDance, the parent of TikTok, shall divest in 90 days all interests and rights in any assets or property used to enable or support the operation of TikTok in the US.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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