China Labels Potential TikTok Ban as Bullying by the US

TikTok's been the main topic in the US, and now China's stepping up to say a possible ban in the US is just plain bullying.

by Faruk Imamovic
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China Labels Potential TikTok Ban as Bullying by the US
© Getty Images/Dan Kitwood

TikTok's been in the hot seat, and now China's stepping up to say a possible ban in the US is just plain bullying. They think this could actually end up hurting America. This whole drama is unfolding right as the US House of Representatives is deciding whether to push TikTok’s owners in China to sell off the app to an American company or get banned stateside.

What China Thinks About It All

Right before the House was about to vote on this, China's foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, didn't hold back. He pointed out that the US is going after TikTok hard, even though there's no solid proof that TikTok's a threat to national security.

According to Wang, the US is playing dirty by trying to force TikTok out, messing with the market and shaking up investor confidence worldwide. He's pretty sure this is going to come back to bite the US later on.

Why the US Is Worried

Over in the US, the big worry is that China might make TikTok give up data on American users.

Plus, there's concern that TikTok could be spreading Chinese propaganda or messing with Americans' heads. Cybersecurity folks say these are valid worries, but so far, there's no hard evidence that any of this is happening. The vote in the House needed a big majority to pass, and it looked like it had enough support from both sides.

But what happens next in the Senate is anyone's guess. Rep. Mike Gallagher has been right in the middle of this, saying the bill isn't about banning TikTok outright. It's more about giving TikTok a choice: cut ties with China's ruling party, or it's game over in the US.

But China's saying not so fast, any deal to sell TikTok has to go through them first, following their own rules.

Everyone's Talking About It

This whole TikTok thing is blowing up on Chinese social media. People are rallying behind TikTok, pushing back against the US bill with lots of them calling out America for being two-faced about freedom and the rule of law.

And China's Global Times newspaper? They're backing TikTok to the hilt, accusing the US of trying to steal the app away.

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