China expresses firm opposition to banning of Chinese apps from U.S. app stores
The Trump administration said yesterday that it is stepping up efforts to cleanse the US media space of “unreliable” Chinese apps, calling TikTok and the WeChat messenger “significant threats.”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the expanded US action on the program he calls «Clean network» (Clean Network) will focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese applications, as well as Chinese telecommunications companies, from accessing sensitive information about American citizens and businesses..
Pompeo’s announcement came after the President of the United States Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok. The popular app has come to the attention of American lawmakers and the administration due to national security concerns amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing..
«China-based parent companies that own applications such as TikTok, WeChat, and others pose significant threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship tools.», – said Pompeo.
In an interview with the state news agency Xinhua, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi stated that the United States has no right to create «Clean network» and calls Washington’s actions «ostentatious mockery».
«It is clear that the US intent is to defend its technology monopoly and deny other countries their right to develop.», – added Wang.
Currently, TikTok is facing an ultimatum – either sell its US business to Microsoft by September 15, or face an outright ban.
US-China relations are at their lowest in decades ahead of November presidential elections. They are tense due to the global coronavirus pandemic, China’s military build-up in the South China Sea, increased control over Hong Kong, violation of the rights of Muslim Uyghurs, as well as Beijing’s huge trade surplus and technological rivalry..
Pompeo said the US is working to prevent Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular US apps on its phones..
Pompeo said the Department of State will work with other government departments to protect the data of US citizens and American intellectual property, including research on the COVID-19 vaccine, preventing access to cloud systems operated by companies such as Alibaba, China Mobile, China Telecom and Tencent..
Pompeo said he joins the attorney general William Barr, defense minister Mark Esper and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolfe, urging the US telecoms regulator, the FCC, to stop approving China Telecom and three other companies to provide their services in the country.
The US has long been lobbying European and other allies to convince them to disconnect Huawei from its telecommunications networks.. Huawei denies spying for China and claims the US wants to spoil the corporation’s business, pointing out that no American company offers the same technology at a competitive price..