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Dispute over TikTok and WeChat: China accuses USA of "harassment"

2020-09-19T06:25:52.373Z

As of Sunday, the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat can only be used to a limited extent in the USA. China is accusing the United States of violating the law and threatening retaliation.



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Popular video toy and possible spying tool: TikTop app

Photo: Jens Kalaene / DPA

Beijing has accused the US government of "harassment" after blocking the Chinese video platform Tiktok and is threatening to take countermeasures.

The US must "stop illegal activity and comply with fair and transparent international rules," the Chinese Ministry of Commerce demanded on Saturday.

Otherwise, China will take "necessary measures" to protect the rights and interests of Chinese companies.

As a first response, a mechanism for punitive measures against foreign companies was put in place.

It is directed against companies that threaten the "national security" of the People's Republic, said the Ministry of Commerce.

The US government announced a ban on the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat on Friday.

Apple, Google and other US corporations were instructed not to allow such downloads for domestic users from Sunday.

The parent company Bytedance then filed a complaint with a federal court in Washington.

The Department of Commerce in Washington justified its decision with dangers to the "national security" of the United States.

Among other things, it is about the data of around 100 million TikTok users in the USA.

President Donald Trump suspects Tiktok of espionage for China.

Bytedance rejects this allegation.

While the messaging and payment service WeChat is now facing immediate restrictions, the US government has practically given ByteDance an ultimatum: Little will change for TikTok in the US by November 12, said Minister of Commerce Wilbur Ross of the Fox Business Network.

Until then, the ban could be overridden if ByteDance should come to an agreement with the US company Oracle on a solution that would take into account the US's security concerns.

President Donald Trump said he thought a quick deal could be achieved.

For TikTok, the announced restrictions are less drastic than expected in the run-up to the decision.

When the ultimatum expires, at least updates may no longer be possible.

For WeChat, the consequences are clearer: Money transactions with people in the USA are no longer permitted via the messenger service.

As early as Sunday, the app could become significantly slower and temporarily fail completely.

WeChat is used by a billion people worldwide.

Icon: The mirror

Löw / AFP / Reuters

Source: spiegel

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