China calls for fair treatment after restrictions on TikTok

China calls for fair treatment after restrictions on TikTok

FILE – The TikTok app icon seen on a mobile phone, February 28, 2022. China on Friday March 17, 2023 called on other governments to give their companies fair treatment after Britain and New Zealand have joined the United States in restricting the use of TikTok amid fears that China’s short-video sharing service is creating a security risk. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday called on other governments to treat its businesses fairly after Britain and New Zealand joined the United States in restricting the use of TikTok, fearing the streaming service short videos belonging to China does create a security risk.

Governments fear that TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, could provide user data to the Chinese government or promote propaganda and misinformation.

“We call on relevant governments to recognize objective facts, effectively respect the market economy” and provide “a non-discriminatory environment” for all businesses, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

TikTok is one of the hotbeds of conflict between China and other governments over technology and security issues that plague the chip and cellphone industries, among others.

New Zealand lawmakers and parliamentary staff will be banned from having the TikTok app on their phones, the government announced on Friday. Britain on Thursday announced a ban on having TikTok on all government phones.

In February, the White House asked federal agencies to remove TikTok from government-issued mobile devices within 30 days. Congress, the military, and more than half of state governments ban their employees from using the app.

The United States has also imposed restrictions on Chinese companies’ access to semiconductor technology for security and human rights reasons.

The Chinese government has accused Washington of spreading false information about TikTok following a Wall Street Journal report that US authorities were considering banning the app if ByteDance did not sell the company.

The ruling Communist Party bans most internet users in China from viewing TikTok and thousands of other social networks and websites. ByteDance operates another short video service, Douyin, which can be viewed in China.

Melissa Galbraith
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