China on Thursday urged the United States to stop “unprovoked attacks” on the TikTok app, after the US government asked its Chinese parent company to abandon it under pain of a ban on national security grounds.
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According to the Wall Street Journal And other American newspapers, the White House issued an ultimatum: if TikTok remains under the management of ByteDance, it will be banned in the United States.
TikTok confirmed to AFP that the US government had recommended the transfer of the application by its owner.
Chinese diplomacy spokesman Wang Wenbin responded Wednesday that Washington “has not yet presented evidence that TikTok threatens the national security of the United States.”
The United States must stop spreading false information about data security issues, and stop unprovoked attacks [contre TikTok] and providing an open, just, fair and non-discriminatory business environment” for foreign companies, the spokesperson added.
Critics accuse TikTok of giving Chinese authorities access to user data around the world, which the short video app denies.
The White House has already banned officials of federal institutions from having the app on their smartphones, according to a law ratified in early January.
The European Commission and the Canadian government recently made similar decisions about mobile phones for civil servants.
TikTok stores US user data on servers located in the country. The app acknowledged that employees based in China had access, but within a strict and limited framework, not the Chinese government.