Hegemonic US will taste bitter fruit of self-interest, says China after TikTok, WeChat targeted by Washington
Trump on Thursday signed executive orders targeting the short-video sharing platform TikTok, owned by Beiijing-based ByteDance, and the messaging service WeChat - owned by the Tencent conglomerate.Updated: Aug 07, 2020 15:19 IST
China on Friday said it firmly opposes President Donald Trump’s decision to ban US transactions with the Chinese owners of messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok, adding that Washington will eventually taste the “bitter fruit” of choosing self-interest over market principles.
Trump on Thursday signed executive orders targeting the short-video sharing platform TikTok, owned by Beiijing-based ByteDance, and the messaging service WeChat - owned by the Tencent conglomerate.
The two apps are used by hundreds of millions globally.
The US firms must stop doing business with the companies within 45 days, said the order with Trump saying he acted to “protect our (US’) national security”.
This is the latest, and a major, escalation in Washington’s ongoing stand-off with Beijing on several issues including Beijing’s expanding footprint in global technology.
Washington’s decision to target Chinese apps comes after India’s decision to block more than a 100 made-in-China social media apps citing security reasons.
New Delhi’s decision came in the backdrop of the ongoing Sino-India tension along the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
Trump’s order mentioned the Indian action on banning the app, stating: “The Government of India recently banned the use of TikTok and other Chinese mobile applications throughout the country. In a statement, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asserted that they (the Chinese apps) were ‘stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”
Reacting to the US decision, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said Washington should provide non-discriminatory business environment to all countries.
“China urges the US to correct its wrongdoings, stop politicising economic issues and cracking down on related firms, and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for normal operations and investment by businesses from all countries,” Wang said at the regular ministry briefing on Friday.
“The US will eventually taste the bitter fruit of choosing self-interest over market principles, international rules, which will only lead to the decline of morality, national image, and international trust,” Wang said.
Calling it a “shameless act of hegemony”, Wang said the US frequently uses national security as an excuse to abuse state power and groundlessly clamp down on related firms.
On Thursday, Trump said that the spread in the US of “…mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
Trump’s orders on Chinese follows the tit-for-tat closing of consulates – in Houston and Chengdu – while the two countries remain at loggerheads over South China Sea disputes, the Hong Kong security bill, US arms-sales to Taiwan, the condition of minorities in Xinjiang, and the origin of the coronavirus besides an ongoing trade war.