"Tiktok Ban : China Denounces 'Bandit Logic' of House Vote"


China has strongly criticized a bill moving through the U.S. Congress, which could potentially lead to the ban of TikTok in the country, labeling it as "unjust" and likening the actions to those of a "bandit."

The bill, which has passed in the House of Representatives, mandates TikTok's parent company to divest from the firm within six months or face a ban on the popular app. While it still faces challenges in the Senate, President Joe Biden has indicated his willingness to sign it into law if it clears Congress.

Beijing has asserted its intention to take "necessary measures" to safeguard its interests amidst this development. TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has faced scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers who argue that the app poses a national security risk due to potential data access by the Chinese government. ByteDance has consistently denied these allegations.

In a rare bipartisan move, the House overwhelmingly approved the bill, with 352 representatives voting in favor and 65 against it. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin criticized the bill, stating that it goes against principles of fair competition and justice. He characterized the move as akin to theft, saying, "When someone sees a good thing another person has and tries to take it for themselves, this is entirely the logic of a bandit."

Commerce ministry spokesperson He Yadong reiterated China's determination to protect its rights and interests in response to the bill.

Meanwhile, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed plans to assemble a group of investors to bid for TikTok, emphasizing its value as a business opportunity.

The fate of TikTok in the U.S. hinges on the bill's passage through Congress, with uncertainty surrounding its prospects in the Senate. Former President Donald Trump, who initially supported a ban, has since expressed opposition.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew warned of dire consequences if the bill becomes law, highlighting the potential loss of revenue for creators and small businesses, as well as the risk to American jobs.

Several TikTok creators have voiced concerns about the bill's impact on their livelihoods and businesses. They fear that small businesses, in particular, will suffer if TikTok is banned.

Efforts to influence the outcome of the bill, including urging users to contact lawmakers, have drawn criticism from some U.S. officials. Texas Republican Chip Roy, a co-sponsor of the bill, accused TikTok of attempting to manipulate public opinion through its lobbying efforts.

Notably, TikTok is banned in China, where users rely on a similar app called Douyin, subject to government oversight and censorship.

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