Monday, 21 Sep 2020

China says it is firmly opposed to US action to block Chinese apps

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China said on Thursday (Aug 6) it was firmly opposed to the US government’s action to block Chinese apps, and said the move went against market principles and had no factual basis.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters at a daily briefing that China urged the United States to correct its mistake.

The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks, and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said expanded US efforts on a programme it calls “Clean Network” would focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese apps, as well as Chinese telecoms companies, from accessing sensitive information on American citizens and businesses.

Mr Pompeo’s announcement comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok. The hugely popular video-sharing app has come under fire from US lawmakers and the administration over national security concerns, amid intensified tensions between Washington and Beijing.

“With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat and others are significant threats to personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP (Chinese Communist Party) content censorship,” Mr Pompeo said.

In an interview with state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the US “has no right” to set up the “Clean Network”, and called the actions by Washington as “a textbook case of bullying”.

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