After federal employees were told to delete the video app TikTok from government-issued phones, China responded by saying the United States was overreacting.
The White House issued a 30-day deadline on Monday for government departments to remove the Chinese app from all government-issued devices.
This directive follows previous actions taken by the European Union and Canada.
The United States is abusing state power to suppress foreign firms, according to a spokesperson for China’s foreign office.
We strongly disagree with those acts,” spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters on Tuesday. “The United States government should respect the principles of market economy and fair competition, cease suppressing the companies, and provide an open, fair, and nondiscriminatory environment for foreign companies in the United States,” the petition says.
How insecure must the world’s leading superpower, the United States, be to worry about the most popular program among young people? Then, she elaborated.
Recent months have seen Western officials grow increasingly concerned about the popular video-sharing app, which is controlled by Chinese company ByteDance.
Australia, however, claimed it had not received any guidance from its intelligence agencies suggesting it follow the lead of the United States, the European Union, or Canada.
Some intelligence agencies are concerned that confidential information could be exposed if the TikTok app were to be downloaded onto government devices due to allegations that the company harvests user data and hands it over to the Chinese government.
The firm claims it is just like every other social media service out there and that it will never cooperate with a court order to hand over user information.
Monday, US OMB Director Shalanda Young ordered all government organizations to remove the app from all government-issued smartphones in order to safeguard sensitive information.
According to the government, this is a “critical move forward” in mitigating the app’s potential risks to sensitive government information.
The White House and the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State are among the government agencies that have banned TikTok from their devices.
Chris DeRusha, the US Federal Chief Information Security Officer, said the action demonstrated the “ongoing commitment to securing our digital infrastructure and preserving the security and privacy of the American people” on the part of the Biden administration.
The statement on Tuesday comes after the US House of Representatives passed a bill in December that prohibited the use of TikTok on government-issued devices and gave the White House 60 days to issue agency orders prohibiting the app’s use.
Further legislation to give President Joe Biden the authority to ban the app nationally is anticipated to be passed by Republican-controlled Congress in the coming weeks.
A representative for TikTok told the BBC that the company hoped Congress would look into solutions that wouldn’t have the impact of silencing millions of Americans’ voices in order to address national security concerns about the app beyond government devices.
I’ll be back on Tuesday. The app was found to pose “an unacceptable degree of risk to privacy and security,” leading the country’s chief information officer to make the decision.
PM Justin Trudeau justified the move by saying that the app’s security was a major worry.
This could be the starting point and the only action required,” he said at a press conference on Monday near Toronto.
Following the European Commission’s lead last week, the European Parliament voted to prohibit the use of the app on official devices.
The bans, according to a representative for TikTok, were implemented “without any thought” and were “little more than political theatre,” as they were described to the BBC.