China responds to TikTok allegations — RT World News
Beijing has insisted it will never ask a Chinese company to collect data or intelligence overseas
China has dismissed US officials’ accusations that TikTok is being used to harvest Americans’ data, refuting the allegations after the company’s CEO was grilled by lawmakers in Washington amid growing calls to ban the popular mobile app. video sharing.
Asked about TikTok chief Shou Zi Chew’s controversial appearance before the US Congress this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said the People’s Republic “takes privacy and data security very seriously.”
“The Chinese government has never and will never ask any company or individual to collect or provide data, information or intelligence located overseas against local laws,” she said Friday, adding that Washington “provided no evidence or proof that TikTok threatens the national security of the United States, but it has repeatedly suppressed and attacked the company based on the presumption of guilt.”
Mao went on to quote Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan, who opposed efforts by some lawmakers to outright ban TikTok in the United States and accused them of carrying out a “xenophobic witch hunt”. She urged the US government to “respect the principles of market economy and fair competition”, and stop “DELETE” foreign companies operating in the country.
During a congressional hearing on Thursday, Chew faced heavy criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers opening the event by saying “Your platform should be banned.” A number of representatives have alleged nefarious ties between TikTok and Beijing, although Chew noted that his company is based in Los Angeles and does not receive marching orders from China’s ruling Communist Party.
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California, a Democrat, appeared outraged after the CEO denied the Chinese government had access to TikTok data, saying “I find that really absurd.” While Chew pointed out that no evidence was ever presented to support the claim, many lawmakers remained skeptical regardless.
The US federal government and at least 25 state governments have passed legislation banning TikTok on official devices, according to a recent tally by Yahoo Finance. Although no outright ban has yet been passed, many officials were prompted to take action after FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed the Chinese government could access data collected by the app. Despite the persistent accusations, TikTok and Beijing have repeatedly denied that the site is used for surveillance or data collection.
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