The administration of the United States President Donald Trump was abusing “national power” by trying to ban TikTok, China has accused, even as a stay on the execution of a ban on the short video sharing app was given by a US federal court.
According to the executive order passed by the United States president on TikTok, downloading of the app was slated to be banned in the country from midnight of October 14 while users could continue to use the app till November 12 after which all usageo fthe app was slated to be blocked.
According to the charges pressed by the Trump administration, a national security threat is posed by the popular app, and the company could have over personal data of millions of American TikTok users through its Chinese parent company ByteDance to the Chinese government.
TikTok and ByteDance have refuted the allegations.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin described the presidential order on TikTok as “bullying behaviour” and added that it was evidence of “abusing national power to unreasonably suppress other countries’ enterprises”.
Wang said that instead, the US administration should “provide a fair, just, open, and non-discriminatory business environment for companies around the world investing and operating in the country”.
The company is being arm twisted by the Trump administration to sell off its US business, which is a lucrative one since the app already has 100 million US subscribers, to any American company.
But a temporary block on the order was used last week by a US federal court. In the legal battle, lawyers of TikTok successfully argued that it was a “punitive” ban imposed by the US government on it and that the action of the Trump administration was motivated by politics instead of genuine concerns over national security.
Details of the injunction remain sealed for now by the court in Washington.
The US and China have been locked in a bitter relationship over multiple issues ranging from tech, defence, human rights and contested seas and the US action on TikTok is one of the many issues between the two largest economies of the world.
Concerns over the precedent a ban could set for a free internet have also been raised by US tech giants. They have also expressed fears of reprisals against American companies that are currently operating in the Chinese market.
A complex transfer of ownership to Silicon Valley giant Oracle is being discussed by ByteDance. According to a potential deal agreement for TikTok between the two companies was made public earlier according to which Oracle would become the technology partner for TikTok as well as a large stakeholder in a newly created company called TikTok Global which will contain the US business of the app.
It would “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government” on the plan, TikTok said on Sunday. The plan has been initially approved by Trump.
But it was still unclear whether the deal would be approved by Beijing, where some consider the US move an unjustified appropriation of Chinese technology
(Adapted from NewIndianExpress.com)