Chinese state media: We won’t let the US ‘steal’ TikTok

Chinese state media: We won’t let the US ‘steal’ TikTok
Credit: Pikist

Chinese state media report they won’t let the US “steal” TikTok, a popular social media app that has been caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade conflict.

In the past, Trump has accused TikTok of passing on user data to Chinese authorities. TikTok responded by saying that most of its data is not stored in China, and that it would resist handing over the information to its government. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is a private company.

Last Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to effectively ban the app over the weekend. On Monday, he changed his mind, saying that Microsoft had 45 days to negotiate with TikTok and acquire the company. He added that if a deal is reached, a “substantial amount of money” will have to be given to the US Treasury.

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State media responded to this development by claiming TikTok is being treated in a “nasty” way.

One newspaper, the China Daily, called the initiative a “smash and grab” raid, organised by the US government. “China will by no means accept the ‘theft’ of a Chinese technology company.”

An editorial in state-owned paper the Global Times read: “The US’ decoupling from China starts [with] killing China’s most competitive companies. In the process, Washington ignores rules and is unreasonable.”

Should Microsoft succeed in taking ownership of the company, it would substantially add to its social media network and be able to compete with major companies such as Facebook Inc (owner of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) and Snap Inc (owner of Snapchat).

Meanwhile, Facebook is working on its own replacement for TikTok. ‘Reels’ will be part of Instagram’s story function and produce videos similar to those seen on TikTok. It is currently being tested in France and Germany, and is set to launch in the US in August.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

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