23rd March 2023 – (Beijing) China’s government has announced its opposition on Thursday to possible U.S. plans to force the Chinese owner of TikTok to sell the short-video service as a security risk. The government has warned that such a move would hurt investor confidence in the United States. The U.S. and other governments are concerned that TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, might give browsing history or other data about users to China’s government or promote propaganda and disinformation.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. authorities were considering banning TikTok if ByteDance did not sell the company. A spokeswoman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, Shu Jiting, said, “If the news is true, China will resolutely oppose it,” but did not indicate what Beijing might do. Shu warned that a forced sale “would seriously damage investors from multiple countries, including China,” and would hurt “confidence to invest in the United States.” TikTok is one of the many areas of conflict between China and other governments concerning technology and security, which are disrupting processor chip, smartphone, and other industries.
Chew Shou Zi, the CEO of TikTok, is scheduled to make an appearance before a U.S. Congressional committee on Thursday to make the case for why the hugely popular video-sharing app shouldn’t be banned. The United States, Britain, and New Zealand’s parliament have banned the use of TikTok on government-issued phones. India has also banned TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including the WeChat message service, on security and privacy grounds.