The state-run media of China has opened up in the ongoing war over TikTok being demanded sale to an American organization, Microsoft Corp. by US President Donald Trump. China is calling it ‘theft’ and indicating that Beijing may block the transaction.
Published late Monday, the editorial of the China Daily newspaper represented the parent company of TikTok, ByteDance Ltd., and the viral video app, which said, ‘China will by no means accept the ‘theft’ of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab.’
The US President Donald Trump has insisted many times on Monday that if the partial ownership gets transferred to any company of the US, then the government must get a share and also demanded that the deal must get done within September 15 else the app will get banned in the country.
The war between Beijing and Washington has spread across the boardroom as well. On one hand, the advisers of the ByteDance are trying to strike a deal for the US assets of the app, and on the other hand, the company’s billionaire founder Zhang Yiming has written his second letter to the employees of the company and told them that the real goal of Trump is to kill TikTok.
Due to the huge success of TikTok, ByteDance became the largest startup in the world. But, American lawmakers have accused this app of stealing citizen data and sending it to the Chinese government. Trump government has the power to add TikTok to the US entity list and make Apple as well as Google drop the app from their app stores.
Though the China Daily had acknowledged that selling the US rights to Microsoft ‘might be preferable’ to ByteDance, yet the newspaper called this process a sanctioned theft.
The China Daily said, ‘With competitiveness now dependent on the ability to collect and use data, it offers an either-or choice of submission or mortal combat in the tech realm.’
The editorial page of the English-language China Daily is often used by Beijing to deliver messages to the western audiences.
TikTok is already a matter of complete disagreement between China and India. Apps from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance have been backlisted by India to retaliate over a major military conflict between both the countries. According to a government document obtained by Bloomberg News, Tencent’s QQ, which is the second-largest social media platform of China and ByteDance’s Vigo Video is set to join WeChat and TikTok in the blacklist announced by the government.
To this, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin said, ‘If following the wrong example set by the U.S., every country could use national security as an excuse to target American companies. The U.S. should not open a Pandora’s box, otherwise, it will swallow the bitter fruit itself.’
Trump has been consistently insisting on the fact that if any sale of TikTok is conducted between the Chinese parent company and any US company then a transaction must be made to the US. To this, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid run by the party’s People’s Daily newspaper tweeted that it is ‘open robbery.’
The regulatory measures to be taken by China are still not clear. The Global Time wrote that since the US is technologically superior, China has a ‘limited ability’ to protect the assets of its companies.