08/04/2020 - 11:27
The TikTok fight between China and the United States is far from over. After the President of the United States, Donald Trump, said that he was going to ban the application last Saturday - and finally not - the Chinese government on Tuesday accused the United States of "pure and simple intimidation."
China's position became known after Donald Trump ordered the sale of the very popular TikTok social network, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, before mid-September .
The scenario is as follows: TikTok will close in the United States on September 15 "unless Microsoft or someone else can buy it and reach an agreement." That was announced by Trump on Monday, referring to the application that has close to 1 billion users worldwide, mainly teenagers.
In a context of political and commercial tensions with China, Washington has for months accused the platform of being used by the Chinese intelligence services for surveillance purposes.
And China reacted. When asked about Donald Trump's announcement, a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Wang Wenbin, accused the United States of regularly attacking foreign companies, abusing the notion of national security.
"This goes against the principles of the market economy and the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination of the WTO," the spokesman told the press. "This is bullying outright. China is firmly opposed," he added.
Without going to the announcement of retaliatory measures, Wang estimated that Washington was opening "Pandora's box."
"If everyone imitates the United States, any country can take similar measures against American companies in the name of national security," he warned.
"Prepare for more difficulties in the future"
ByteDance, the owner of TikTok. (EFE)
In a letter sent to ByteDance employees Tuesday, founder Zhang Yiming suggested that the United States' intention was to ban the app rather than force a sale.
Zhang told staff to "prepare for more difficulties in the future," and assured that anti-China sentiment "has grown significantly in many countries."
While the company denies that its users' data is released to the Chinese government, the founder of ByteDance acknowledged in another internal letter on Monday that it was under pressure, noting that they work 24 hours a day "to get the best possible output."
"We have always been committed to ensuring the security of user data, as well as the neutrality and transparency of the platform," Zhang told employees in that internal statement, according to Chinese media.
However, he said, TikTok faces "increasing complexities across the geopolitical landscape and significant external pressure," and is studying "relocating headquarters to another large market outside the United States."
According to the British newspaper The Sun, ByteDance is considering moving the global operations of TikTok, today based in Los Angeles, to the United Kingdom.
America's "Fear": Private Information
TikTok is questioned for its safety. (EFE)
Very popular with young people, Tiktok allows users to create and share videos of up to 60 seconds, often fun but also serious and even artistic.
According to the head of US diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, companies like TikTok may be obtaining information from citizens such as their "facial recognition pattern", "residence", "phone numbers", "friends" and "who they contact".
Announcing a deadline for the sale of the application, Trump also released a new surprise condition, noting that the operation would suppose a significant payment to the United States Treasury.
Microsoft had no comment on Monday , but said in a statement Sunday that if it completed the acquisition, it promised to "provide the economic benefits to the United States, including the Treasury."