China offers no comment on US bill to ban TikTok clearing Congress

Universal Music warns it will pull songs from TikTok
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Beijing on Wednesday declined to respond to questions on legislation approved by the United States Senate requiring the wildly popular social media app TikTok to be divested from its Chinese parent company ByteDance or be shut out of the American market.

US and other Western officials have voiced alarm over the popularity of TikTok with young people, alleging it allows Beijing to collect data and spy on users. It has 170 million users in the United States alone.

These critics also say TikTok is subservient to Beijing and a conduit to spread propaganda. China and the company strongly deny these claims.

But asked about the news that the law will now head to President Joe Biden’s desk, Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin declined to offer a response, instead pointing to previous statements.

“My colleagues and I, as well as the spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce, have previously explained China’s principled position on the US Congress’s passage of the bill concerning TikTok,” Wang said.

“You may refer to that,” he added.

Beijing has previously furiously denounced the plans to ban TikTok, urging Washington to “truly respect the principles of market economy and fair competition”.

“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” Commerce Ministry Spokesperson He Yadong said.


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