China Says Moves to Ban TikTok Will ‘Eventually Backfire on the US’

Estimated read time 2 min read
  • Beijing is not reacting kindly to US efforts that could ban TikTok.
  • A Chinese foreign-ministry spokesperson said the effort would “eventually backfire on the US itself.”
  • China faces a growing bipartisan US consensus that has coarsened relations between the countries.

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Beijing remains defiant in the face of renewed congressional efforts that would force TikTok’s Chinese parent company to divest its holdings in the popular app.

“Such practice of resorting to hegemonic moves when one could not succeed in fair competition disrupts the normal operation of businesses, undermines the confidence of international investors in the investment environment, sabotages the normal economic and trade order in the world, and will eventually backfire on the US itself,” Wang Wenbin, a Chinese foreign-ministry spokesperson, told reporters, according to a transcript of his remarks.

China has remained protective of ByteDance, TikTok’s Beijing parent company. House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed legislation on Wednesday that would require ByteDance to sell TikTok within 180 days or face a ban from app stores. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate. TikTok would also assuredly fight any ban in US courts, something the company did when the Trump administration placed it under its crosshairs.

Wang also said the US had been unable to find any evidence of TikTok threatening US national security, a claim many in Washington would dispute. It’s fair to point out that current and former US officials remain cagey about the extent of evidence they’re willing to publicly discuss to support their concerns. A yearly US intelligence assessment recently concluded that the Chinese government used TikTok to try to influence American elections.

There’s a growing bipartisan consensus that the US should keep a more watchful eye on Chinese companies. In this regard, the fight over TikTok’s future could be a harbinger of what’s to come. Experts see a bleak future for the world’s two largest economies, with the US and China slowly decoupling their extensive trade ties.