TikTok 'smash and grab' won't be taken lying down, says China state media

TikTok (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Chinese media has hit back at the U.S. over the ongoing TikTok saga.
  • It said the "smash and grab" would not be taken lying down.
  • It said unfounded claims against Chinese companies would persist simply because they were Chinese.

State-backed Chinese media has hit out at the U.S. and its "smash and grab" attempt to "steal" TikTok from ByteDance, stating the move would not be taken lying down.

In an editorial, China Daily stated:

After vowing to ban the popular short-video sharing app TikTok in the United States on Friday, the US president is reportedly weighing the advantages of allowing Microsoft to purchase its US operations.Such shilly-shallying is a tactic the US administration employed during the trade deal negotiations with China.

The report criticized President Trump for "promising punishment for some perceived wrongdoing" and noted that recent comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would "heighten the concerns of Chinese companies."

The report further states:

As TikTok's experience shows, no matter how unfounded the claims against them are, as long as they remain Chinese companies, they will be presented as being a "Red threat" by the administration.

The report does note that selling its U.S. operations to Microsoft might be preferable for TikTok's parent company ByteDance. On Pompeo's comments the outlet stated:

...that being the case, the top US diplomat's comments on Sunday were tantamount to inviting potential US purchasers to participate in an officially sanctioned "steal" of Chinese technology.

The report also highlights that the U.S. seems aware that U.S. investment in China is far more valuable than Chinese investment in the U.S., emboldening Washington.

The report concludes:

But 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 report follows comments from ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming, claiming that President Trump's primary goal is not to force the sale of TikTok but to ban the app outright. ByteDance has been given 45 days to organize a sale of its U.S. operations to Microsoft.

The China Daily rhetoric is toned exactly as expected for a state-backed media outlet, but Washington may take note of the threatened retribution.

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

1 Comment
  • If Microsoft buys it, they may sell it to Worldgroups.com like they did with some of the more social MSN assets. Who wants to pay $20 a month to have that content on a dating site??? There is nothing going on Worldgroups other that looking for hookups, despite outlets for peer content. I only got it for 3 months as they let the MSN Groups imports fall apart, no connection with socially open younger people. All looking to settle down. Not me. I moved to Twitter then. So, no to Microsoft grab.