Selin ATAY-TDO- China accused the United States of "political suppression" after President Donald Trump signed twin executive orders restricting U.S. citizens' use of TikTok and WeChat, which are owned by Chinese companies.
“The decision came at the expense of Americans”, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters.
Donald Trump's move to the bans on TikTok and WeChat are set to take effect in 45 days. The move bars anyone under U.S. jurisdiction from doing business with the owners of TikTok or WeChat.
The U.S President’s orders, one for each app, deem the use of TikTok and WeChat a threat to U.S. "national security, foreign policy, and economy."
Donald Trump said that the TikTok app could be used for disinformation campaigns, benefiting the ruling party in China. The president added that data collection by WeChat would "allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information."
However, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry argued: "The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That's just a hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that."
Spokesman Wang added that Donald Trump's act has come "at the expense of the rights and interests of U.S. users and companies. The U.S. is carrying out arbitrary political manipulation and suppression."
The U.S. ban not only involves TikTok, but also extends to Chinese company Tencent, which owns WeChat. The order was issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, that can bar U.S. citizens from dealing with sanctioned parties.