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China: US abusing state power with TikTok bans

The TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration made on August 22, 2022. (By Reuters)

China says the United States is abusing state power to impose bans on the Chinese-owned video app TikTok.

At a regular news briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced what she called the abuse of state power by Washington to suppress foreign companies such as Chinese-owned video app TikTok.

The condemnation came just a day after the US Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the implementation of the US president's vision across the Executive Branch, gave government agencies 30 days to "remove and disallow installations" of the application on agency-owned or operated IT devices, and to "prohibit Internet traffic" from such devices to the app.

The US government "has been overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power to suppress other countries' companies. We firmly oppose those wrong actions," said Mao.

"How unsure of itself can the US, the world’s top superpower, be to fear a young person's favorite app to such a degree?" she added.

The White House had already banned TikTok on its devices.

The newer limitation does not apply to businesses in the US not associated with the federal government, or to the millions of private citizens who use the hugely popular app.

Following the US's suit, Canada also announced that it was banning TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices on Monday.

"I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones, many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a press conference.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has become a political target due to concerns that the app could be circumvented for spying or propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party. Both Beijing and ByteDance strongly reject the allegation.

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