People use their cellphone on the street in Beijing, China, 24 March, 2023. EFE/EPA/WU HAO

China says never asked TikTok to violate laws to provide information

Shanghai, China, Mar 24 (EFE) .- The Chinese government claimed Friday it has never asked and will never ask companies or individuals to collect information or provide it in other countries in violation of local laws.


The statement from the government at Beijing came ahead of a possible ban on the social media and video sharing app TikTok in the United States.


Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said their government attaches great importance to the protection of data security and privacy in accordance with the law.


Mao was responding to a question at a press conference about the appearance of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew before a committee of the US Congress.


The spokesperson said that Washington has assumed TikTok to be guilty even though it has not offered any proof that the application threatens the national security of the United States.


According to the official newspaper Global Times, Mao also denounced Friday the possibility of TikTok being banned in the US as a form of political persecution driven by xenophobia.


On Thursday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce protested in this regard, underlining that Beijing would firmly oppose a ban on the app.


According to several US media outlets, Washington threatened the Chinese technology firm ByteDance – developer of the application – to ban Tik Tok nationwide if it does not sell its shares in the popular app.


A spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry also said that a sale of TikTok would be a matter concerning the export of technology that should follow the administrative licensing procedures in accordance with Chinese laws.


Several critics have accused ByteDance of having ties to the Chinese Communist Party, although TikTok denies such accusations, claiming it does not censor content or give the Chinese government access to its data.


The White House recently gave U.S. federal agencies 30 days to remove the social network TikTok from all government electronic devices.


The European Commission and the European Union also banned their workers from using TikTok on official phones for security reasons, a decision also criticized by Beijing. EFE


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