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US Accused By Chinese State Media Of Trying To Steal TikTok

US Accused By Chinese State Media Of Trying To Steal TikTok
The manner in which the United States is treating TikTok — the very popular video-sharing app that has come in the cross fire of the worsening US-China relations, has been described by the Chinese state media as "nasty" in the last few days.
"The US' decoupling from China starts [with] killing China's most competitive companies," wrote the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, in an editorial published on Monday. "In the process, Washington ignores rules and is unreasonable."
TikTok is owned by Bejing-based tech firm ByteDance. Over the last few weeks or so, there has been a raging debate of the future of the app in the US and last week end, US president Donald Trump directly threatened to ban the app’s operations in the country.  
Politicians and the US government are concerned about a threat to national security posed by the app if the data it already has about its US users ends up in the hands of Chinese authorities. TikTok has however stated that data about its users is stored in servers outside of China and that it would not give into any efforts by the Chinese government to hand over such information even though a law forces all Chinese companies to hand over such data if asked by the government.
On Monday, Trump said that a US company buying TikTok will be allowed by his administration even though he also inserted a caveat that such a deal should to include a "substantial amount of money" coming to the US Treasury.
Over the same time, US tech giant Microsoft confirmed it is in talks with TikTok for a purchase.
Criticism of the dispute in the US surrounding TikTok has been made by Chinese media outlets, which are considered to be reflection of unofficial statements and feelings within the Chinese government.
A potential sale of the app was described as a "smash and grab" raid orchestrated by the US government in a report by the state-run newspaper China Daily. "The US administration's bullying of Chinese tech companies stems from data being the new source of wealth and its zero-sum vision of 'American first,'" the English-language newspaper wrote in an editorial Monday. "China will by no means accept the 'theft' of a Chinese technology company."
"China does not actually ban American websites or software — it only requires them to 'be Chinese' as they operate in China," wrote Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times, in a post on the Chinese social media website Weibo. "TikTok fully complies with US laws ... but the US government still wants to ban it."
"The US approach is much more determined and tough compared to the Chinese approach," he added.
In a WeChat post about TikTok that was reported widely in Chinese media, similar arguments were made by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee. He said that there is no ambiguity in what foreign companies can do to do business in China. In the case of TikTok however,  the company has been left with no chance but to sell off the business.
The whole TikTok saga was described as "too nasty" by Liu Hong, deputy editor-in-chief for the Globe — a magazine run by state-owned Xinhua News Agency.
"It's not just a shotgun wedding. But also a power grab," he wrote in a post Sunday on the social media website WeChat. The post was later promoted by the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. "This is really sad for Bytedance."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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