The state-owned media made the comments amid fresh threats from Washington to ban the world’s largest startup as tensions spike in the ongoing US trade war with China, with the editorial stating Beijing could retaliate with its own measures if the acquisition was forced.
Beijing will not accept accept the “theft” of a Chinese tech firm and could take measures against Washington if the latter forced the proposed acquisition, China Daily said in an editorial early this week.
The editorial accused the Trump administration of “shilly-shallying” by punishing Chinese firms for a “perceived wrongdoing”, followed by officials stating that such punishments may not take place and the US president later spiking tensions by promising to “make good on his threat” to achieve Washington’s aims.
The strong comments come as talks between TikTok’s US branch and Microsoft Corp have stalled as both have urged clarity on the White House’s position, the Wall Street Journal reported. US president Donald Trump also threatened to ban the Chinese company if it failed to ink the deal by 15 September.
Tech Advocate Cries Foul After Trump Says US Could Take “Substantial Portion” Of TikTok Sale
The news comes as Trump said in a phone call with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella that he demanded the US Treasury receive a “substantial portion” of the TikTok sale, according to media reports.
But MIT Technology Review reporter, Charlotte Jee, slammed Trump’s comments as “pretty astonishing” and said his “extraordinary behaviour” was a major reversal in his administration’s push to scrutinise Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) and other big tech firms in the US.
The news comes after UK media said that ByteDance could move its headquarters to London, with British officials stating it would be “absurd” to deny the Chinese company a place in the UK capital.
TikTok owner Bytdance came under fire in July from US lawmakers in late July after, who accused the social media platform of collecting data for the Chinese government, echoing similar government accusations against Huawei Technologies.
Trump could potentially add TikTok to the same entity list as Huawei, ZTE and 70 further Chinese tech companies, forcing US companies to bar the platform from their app services. Beijing and ByteDance have sharply denied Washington’s claims.