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Foreign

TikTok ban: China Attacks ‘Bandit Logic’ Of House Vote

todayMarch 14, 2024 6

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China has attacked a bill going through Congress that could ultimately see TikTok banned in the US, accusing it of “unjustly” behaving like a “bandit”.

The bill passed by the House of Representatives would give TikTok’s parent company six months to divest from the firm or face a ban on the app.

It still faces an uphill battle in the Senate but President Joe Biden says he will sign it if it passes Congress.

Beijing has vowed to take” necessary measures” to protect its interests.

TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, a Beijing-based firm registered in the Cayman Islands.

US lawmakers have expressed concern about the app, saying the data of Americans potentially in Chinese hands makes it a national security risk. TikTok’s owners have rejected those accusations.

In a rare show of bipartisanship on Wednesday, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill, with 352 representatives voting in favour of the proposed law and 65 against.

At a news conference in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the vote on the bill “runs contrary to the principles of fair competition and justice”.

“When someone sees a good thing another person has and tries to take it for themselves, this is entirely the logic of a bandit,” Mr Wang added.

Another Chinese official, commerce ministry spokesperson He Yadong, said that China would “take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests”.

Meanwhile, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that he was putting together a team of investors to make a bid to buy TikTok. “It’s a great business,” he told CNBC.

Whether he gets the chance will depend on the bill passing Congress and it is unclear whether it has enough support in the Senate.

Republican Donald Trump has said he is now opposed, having previously backed a ban.

BBC

Written by: Editorial Team

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