US ambassador calls Beijing’s stance on TikTok ban ‘deeply ironic’

The U.S. ambassador to China said on Friday that Beijing’s stance on a potential U.S. ban on TikTok was “deeply ironic” given the ruling Communist Party’s censorship of online platforms within its borders.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday that would force the popular short-video app to break with its Chinese parent or face a nationwide ban.

China harshly criticized the approval, slamming Washington’s “gangster” mentality and accusing lawmakers of “unfairly suppressing foreign companies.”

U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns on Friday issued a rebuke, calling Beijing’s stance unreasonable as it blocks many Western online platforms from operating in the country.

“I find it extremely ironic that Chinese government officials … have been critical of the ongoing debate over TikTok in the U.S.,” Burns told an online seminar hosted by the East-West Center, a U.S. research organization.

“They don’t even let 1.4 billion Chinese people use TikTok,” he said in response to a question about the U.S. public diplomacy approach to China.

The Chinese government strictly controls the spread of online information and purges social media content it deems to be politically sensitive. Many Western platforms, including Google, Facebook and Instagram, are banned from operating in the country.

TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance also operates a standalone version of the app within China called Douyin.

‘Real irony’

China hit back at Burns’ comments on Friday, calling the U.S. stance on the app “truly ironic.”

When asked about the ambassador’s seminar, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the United States is “doing its best to use national power to suppress TikTok.”

See also  Biden: Israel's Netanyahu made 'mistake' on Gaza

“A country that prides itself on freedom of speech and claims to be a free market economy is willing to use the power of the state to target specific companies,” Wang said.

“That’s the real irony.”

Some Western governments have expressed concern about TikTok’s soaring popularity, claiming that the app’s ownership makes it subservient to Beijing – a claim TikTok denies.

The bill has also been criticized by TikTok creators and users and is expected to face tougher challenges in the U.S. Senate. The White House said President Joe Biden would sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.

Source link

By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *