March 13, 2024

Banning TikTok will ‘come to bite US’ – China fumes

Banning TikTok will come to bite US - China fumes

China has warned that a planned ban on TikTok might “come back to bite” the United States, following the approval of the bill that could lead to the suspension of the app by the members of the House of Representatives.

The bill in the House of Representatives would compel the Chinese-owned app to detach its relationship with China or become unavailable in the US.

According to BBC, US officials have long expressed concern about TikTok, citing potential national security risks, but TikTok’s owners have reiterated that the app does not pose any danger to American citizens.

On Wednesday, members of the US House passed a bill that would demand the Chinese parent company of TikTok to sell its US operations.

The bill – officially known as the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act – now heads to the Senate, where it is uncertain if it has enough support to pass.

If it does, the White House has said that President Joe Biden will sign it into law.

Ahead of the vote, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused the US of “suppressing TikTok” even though it “never found evidence that TikTok threatens national security.”

“This kind of bullying behaviour that cannot win in fair competition disrupts companies’ normal business activity, damages the confidence of international investors in the investment environment, and damages the normal international economic and trade order,” Wang added.

“In the end, this will inevitably come back to bite the United States itself.”

The move was similarly pilloried by Chinese media, with several newspapers featuring satirical cartoons ridiculing the US effort to ban the app.

TikTok is owned by a Beijing-based, Cayman Islands-registered firm, Byte Dance.

If the US bill becomes law, ByteDance would be required to sell TikTok within six months or face a ban from US app stores and web hosting platforms.

Meanwhile, TikTok distributed a message to many of its American users, calling on them to call their representatives to prevent the government from stripping “170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free speech.”

Former President Donald Trump unsuccessfully tried to ban the app in 2020.