‘A blatant hegemonic act’: China urges US to stop ‘politicizing’ economic relations amid TikTok & WeChat restrictions
The US is using national security as an “excuse” to suppress Chinese-owned companies despite them following American rules and regulations, Beijing says, after President Trump issued an order targeting the TikTok and WeChat apps.
The ban on the popular apps is an act of “political manipulation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters.
These companies carry out business activities in the United States in accordance with market principles and international rules, and abide by US law and regulations. The US uses national security as an excuse to frequently abuse national power and unreasonably suppress non-American companies. This is a blatant hegemonic act.
Wang urged the US to stop “politicizing economic issues” and create a “fair and non-discriminatory environment” for foreign companies.
According to the executive order signed by US President Trump on Thursday, in 45 days Americans will be banned from making transactions with ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, and Tencent, the owner of WeChat, unless the apps are sold by their parent companies.
Trump described both apps as a “threat,” accusing them of collecting the personal data of Americans and sharing it with the Chinese government. Officials in Washington have made similar allegations against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, as American companies were banned from working with its equipment last year. Beijing has repeatedly denied using Chinese-owned companies for espionage.
The aggressive move against TikTok and WeChat is the latest in a series of hostilities between the two countries in recent years. Last month, the US ordered Chinese diplomats to vacate a consulate in Houston, Texas, after accusing them of espionage, which Beijing denied.
China responded to the closing of its consulate by ordering that a US consulate in Chengdu also be shut down.
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