China urges US to stop ‘suppression’ of TikTok

Beijing, March 15 (IANS) China on Thursday called on the US to stop the “unreasonable suppression” of companies from other countries, following a US bill targeting the short-video app TikTok.

The US side should earnestly respect the market economy and the principle of fair competition, and provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for enterprises from all countries, said He Yadong, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a press briefing, He Yadong said relevant parties should strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives approved a bill that would require TikTok to divest from its parent company, Chinese tech giant ByteDance, or face a nationwide ban in the US.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation with an overwhelming bipartisan vote that could lead to the banning of the popular social media platform TikTok.

The fate of the app, which is used monthly by 170 million Americans, now rests with the Senate where some lawmakers have vowed to prevent the law’s speedy passage.

President Joe Biden, who will have the final say, has said he will sign it into law.

The legislation passed with 352 affirmative votes to 65 negative and one vote marked as present.

It was introduced by the bipartisan duo of Mike Gallagher, a Republican, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, who head the select committee on China as the chair and ranking member, respectively.

“Today we send a clear message that we will not tolerate our adversaries weaponizing our freedoms against us,” said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican chair of the House Commerce Committee who advanced the TikTok bill.

The legislation requires TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which is based in China and is alleged to have links to the Chinese government, to divest its stake in the company within 180 days of the enactment of the law.

On June 29, 2020, TikTok, controlled by Chinese giant ByteDance, was banned in India.


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