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US TikTok ban ‘xenophobic witch hunt’ – Chinese State Media

Recently TikTok was banned in London City Hall devices over security concerns. Now the China has reacted to the recent TikTok ban in US.

The Chinese state media and mouthpiece Global Times published an article saying, U.S. hearing on TikTok is being politically manipulated to hide its true purpose of stealing a profitable business from China, reflecting growing U.S. hegemony and bullying of Chinese-backed firms, experts said Friday, predicting a U.S. witch hunt against TikTok. Technological innovation in the US is going downhill, and the political farce against the small app has seriously eroded American values ​​of fair competition and its credibility.

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Thursday (US time) titled “TikTok: How Congress Can Protect America’s Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harm.”

While US lawmakers acted as if they were looking for a solution to ensure data security, the hearing turned out to be a political show designed to smear the international firm with a Chinese background and cover up its real purpose to steal from its Chinese parent, experts said.

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Whether it ends with the “killing” of TikTok or the violent removal of a child from the arms of its parent ByteDance, it is one of the 21st century’s ugliest scenes in high-tech competition, they said. “Your platform should be banned,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said at the start of the hearing, claiming the app had ties to the Chinese government.

During the roughly five-hour hearing, CEO Shou Zi Chew’s attempts to illustrate TikTok’s business operations were frequently interrupted. His requests to clarify the concerns of members of the US Congress were also blocked.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning condemned the US move on Friday, saying the US is accepting the presumption of guilt and engaging in a gratuitous crackdown on TikTok without any evidence.

“We noticed that some US lawmaker said that seeking to ban TikTok is a ‘xenophobic witch hunt,'” she said, urging the US to respect the market economy and rules of fair competition, stop unjustified crackdown on foreign companies and provide open , a fair and non-discriminatory environment for companies from other countries in the US.

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The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting privacy and data security in accordance with the law. China has never and will never ask companies or individuals to violate local laws on collecting or providing data and information stored within the borders of other countries, Mao stressed.

The latest hearing follows reports that the Biden administration has threatened to ban TikTok unless its China-based parent company ByteDance divests its stake in the popular video app.

Another dark scene in Washington’s struggle for US supremacy, the barbaric act by the US only underscores that American values ​​of fair competition, free speech and inclusiveness are gradually disappearing and xenophobia is growing instead, experts said, adding that the US government lacks confidence. in competition with China.

What is even more ironic is that instead of finding solutions to the problems caused by the negative impact of America’s social problems on children, such as suicide, self-harm and drug abuse, American lawmakers are instead blaming society, Li Yong, vice chairman of the Global Times, told the expert committee of the China International Trade Association on Friday .

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“The hearing was hegemonic and bullied a private company,” Li said, noting that it is common for US politicians to give unjustified labels to entities with a Chinese background by making excuses.

“Although the US has always presented itself as a rules-based market economy, it actually has no objective rules. All rules are chosen and serve the interests of US political elites and US hegemony,” Li said.

The forced sale of TikTok by the US is a shameless robbery of a profitable company from China, he said, adding that the US is increasingly politicizing the innovative app that has enriched the digital lives of Americans and benefited many micro-businesses in the US.

“TikTok itself is not available on the Chinese mainland, we are based in Los Angeles and Singapore, and today we have 7,000 employees in the US,” Chew said in his opening remarks.

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US officials rejected Chew’s testimony and stepped up their fight against TikTok. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a separate hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that TikTok should be “ended one way or another,” adding that he did not know whether it would be enough for TikTok to divest itself of its Chinese parent company. company, CNN reported.

The high-profile hearing also drew widespread attention from netizens who called members of the US Congress arrogant, ridiculous and ignorant.

“Neither of them made an argument that made any sense,” tweeted an American netizen. “By his logic, every other social media app should be banned,” wrote another netizen.

The topic “TikTok CEO at hearing in US” trended on China’s Twitter-like social network Sina Weibo, generating nearly 5 million views.

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“I’m sorry for what Chew endured at the hearing. American politicians were not so arrogant and aggressive at Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook hearing. It seems all the lawmakers are bullying Chew,” a Chinese netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

As Chew was grilled in Washington, Apple CEO Tim Cook was met with cheers and applause at an Apple store in Beijing on Friday, prompting Chinese residents to compare the “so-called free market” in the US to the “real free market” in China. .

The Biden administration’s so-called “national security” narrative has also sparked widespread speculation among TikTok users, scholars and researchers.

Selling TikTok would be “completely irrelevant to any of the alleged ‘national security’ threats” and would contradict “every free market principle and norm” of the State Department’s internet freedom guidelines, the Guardian reported, citing Karim Farhat, a researcher at the Internet Governance Project at Georgia Tech.

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NBC News reported Thursday that a 19-year-old Harvard freshman named Aidan Kohn-Murphy, who used TikTok to drum up support for Biden in 2020, is now trying to use the app to stop Biden from killing the platform.

“If they went ahead with the ban on TikTok, it would feel like a slap in the face to many young Americans,” he said. “Democrats don’t understand the political implications this would have.”

A sinister move doomed

By forcing the sale of TikTok, the Biden administration is looking to repeat its takeover of French energy company Alstom and its plight of Japanese chip firm Toshiba, but the ominous US move is bound to face challenges, given similar hurdles Trump has faced for three years. earlier, experts said.

“The Biden administration will have a hard time banning TikTok completely because the app has a large user base of more than 150 million in the US,” Xiang Ligang, CEO of the Beijing Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times.

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It’s an even more complicated issue for the U.S. to take over TikTok because any deal would also have to comply with Chinese law, he said. Experts said the Chinese government may step in and block the sale of TikTok.

“The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the forced sale or expropriation of TikTok,” said Shu Jueting, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday.

The export of Chinese technology must be subject to administrative licensing procedures in accordance with Chinese law, and the Chinese government is legally bound to make a decision, she reiterated.

In August 2020, China’s Ministry of Commerce revised its restrictions on technology exports, including recommendations for personalized content based on data analysis and a range of other technologies such as AI algorithms, widely seen at the time as China’s countermeasures against the forced sale of TikTok by the US.

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In 2020, then-President Donald Trump and his administration sought to remove TikTok from app stores and force ByteDance to sell its US assets. US courts blocked the order, concluding that a ban on the app would likely limit “personal communication” and the sharing of “informational materials” by TikTok users.

In addition, the Washington Post reportedly worked with a privacy researcher to look under the hood of TikTok in 2020 and concluded that the app does not appear to collect more data than typical mainstream US social media platforms.

“From the unwarranted US crackdown on Huawei to targeting TikTok citing so-called ‘national security’, US politicians have not had a coherent ‘blueprint’ for their actions, everything is politically motivated,” Siang said, referring to reports that Biden. he is seeking a second presidential term.

On Thursday, the United States placed 14 more Chinese companies on its red flag list, forcing US exporters to do more due diligence before shipping goods, particularly to technology and solar firms.

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Xiang said the US’s unrelenting crackdown on international firms, including those from China, violates international rules, disrupts global industrial and supply chains, and harms the interests of both sides and the global economy as a whole.

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