Chinese State Media Slams U.S. as a ‘Rogue Country’ for Its Planned ‘Smash and Grab’ of TikTok

Chinese state media labeled the U.S. a “rogue country” and dubbed the potential sale of social media firm TikTok to Microsoft as “theft,” adding that Beijing could retaliate if a deal is sealed, CNBC writes.

Microsoft announced plans on Sunday to acquire TikTok’s business in certain markets — the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Commenting on the matter, President Donald Trump said that buying only part of the app will be “complicated”— but he still gave Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella the go ahead. Trump added that some “key money” would have to be paid to the U.S. Treasury Department for making the deal possible.

Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor-in-chief of the state-backed Global Times, called the move an “open robbery” and said “President Trump is turning the once great America into a rogue country.”

TikTok has been under fire from Washington which has accused the Chinese-owned app of collecting data on Americans and sending it to the Chinese government. TikTok has repeatedly denied this.

The Trump administration first threatened to ban TikTok. On Sunday before Microsoft announced its intention to acquire TikTok, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Fox News interview that Trump will take action “in the coming days” on the app.

China Daily, another state-backed publication, highlighted these comments as being “tantamount to inviting potential US purchasers to participate in an officially sanctioned ‘steal’ of Chinese technology.”

In an op-ed published Sunday, the newspaper suggested that China could retaliate.

“But China will by no means accept the ‘theft’ of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab,” the newspaper said.

Global Times ran a headline that read: “Banning TikTok reflects Washington’s cowardice.” 

The Chinese tabloid, published by the official People’s Daily newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, used the article to accuse the U.S. of moving to ban the app because it sees it as a threat to American technology firms. The piece also mentioned similar moves by the U.S. to block Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei. 

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