‘Systematic economic bullying’: Beijing backs TikTok lawsuit against Trump administration’s sell order
The Chinese government has expressed its support for a lawsuit against the Trump administration, which challenges his executive order to sell or spin-off TikTok’s operations on US soil.
Beijing supports the effort by Chinese companies to use legal means to defend their rights and interests in the US, including the lawsuit by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told journalists on Monday.
“China supports relevant companies in taking up legal weapons to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests,” Zhao said, accusing the US of “organized and systematic economic bullying” aimed at “outperforming non-US multinational companies.”
This is a repudiation of the principle of market economy and fair competition that the US has always boasted about.
Trump ordered ByteDance to end its control over the American part of TikTok’s operations, due to Washington’s concerns over its handling of personal data. The company said it disagreed with the reasoning and on Monday filed a legal challenge to the executive order, which gives the company 90 days to comply or face sanctions.
While ByteDance insisted that it preferred “constructive dialogue over litigation,” the company said it had “no choice” but to pursue legal action, pointing to the order.
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The US government is pressuring China on multiple fronts, accusing Beijing of theft of intellectual property and mass surveillance through Chinese private companies. China says the US is using unfair forms of competition after failing to gain advantage on a level playing field.
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