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TikTok-WeChat: China warns US against ‘bullying’, says ‘will take necessary measures to safeguard interests’

President Xi Jinping and Donald Trump | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after Trump administration ordered to ban popular Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat, China warned the United States against ‘bullying’ and said it will take necessary measures to safeguard the interests of Chinese companies.

“China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease (its) wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order,” news agency AFP quoted the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, as saying in a statement.

“If the US insists on going its own way, China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” the Chinese ministry added.

On Friday, the US had announced that it will block TikTok and WeChat from Sunday to safeguard national security, weeks after India banned them, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

Under the order, the Tencent-owned WeChat app would lose functionality in the United States from Sunday. TikTok users will be banned from installing updates but could keep accessing the service through November 12.

The move came a day after US President Donald Trump said he is looking into American major Oracle’s reported bid for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and wants to ensure there is no compromise on national security before approving the deal.

While TikTok has over 100 million users in the US, it is not clear how many of WeChat’s billion users are based outside China.

President Trump cites India’s action on Chinese apps

President Trump had cited India’s action against the Chinese apps while announcing his plan to ban them last month. On June 29, India banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, We Chat and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

The ban was expanded to 224 Chinese applications later and it was imposed in the backdrop of a tense standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh with Chinese troops.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US, the US Department of Commerce had said in a statement.

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