An editorial published by the state-run China Daily newspaper on Monday evening has expressed the country’s firm opposition to the forced sale of TikTok.
As tension mounts over the app’s perceived security threat, President Trump has called for the popular video-sharing app company to be sold or divested by Beijing-based parent ByteDance if it wants to continue operating in the U.S.
“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 editorial read. The Chinese government is known to use editorial in China Daily in order to publicize its positions on certain issues worldwide.
Following earlier discussions of potentially banning the app, Trump now insists that TikTok be sold to an American company by Sept. 15 or be shut down. After reports emerged of a divestment order, other reports emerged that said Microsoft was in early discussions to acquire the company. Following discussions with the President, Microsoft confirmed in a blog post that it was seeking to take over TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
“I don’t mind whether it’s Microsoft or someone else, a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it,” Trump told the press on Monday. “It’ll close down on Sept. 15 unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it and work out a deal, an appropriate deal, so the Treasury of the United States gets a lot of money.”
TikTok has grown into one of the most successful apps in the world and is particular ly popular with teenagers. As it rose to prominence, the company was dogged by controversy over allegations that it provided user data to the Chinese government.
“With competitiveness now dependent on the ability to collect and use data, it offers an either-or choice of submission or mortal combat in the tech realm,” the editorial continued.