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China calls TikTok deadline 'coercive robbery'

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-14 14:01

The TikTok logo and the American flag. [Photo/Sipa]

BEIJING -- The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the United States played on non-American companies are tantamount to coercive robbery, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday.

Zhao Lijian said this at a routine news briefing when asked for comments about US President Donald Trump's remarks on Thursday that the deadline set for Chinese company ByteDance to sell its popular short-video app TikTok's US assets would not be extended.

"It'll either be closed up, or they'll sell it," Trump told reporters.

Zhao said China opposes the US practice of stretching the concept of national security and abusing national power to oppress certain foreign businesses. The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the US played on non-American companies, no matter whether they are "coerced transactions by the government" or "forced transactions by the government", are tantamount to coercive robbery.

"It violates market principles and international rules, and reveals the irony when the US claims to be a champion of market economy and fair competition," Zhao said.

The US should correct the mistake immediately and stop oppressing foreign companies, including Chinese companies, Zhao said, noting China will reserve the rights of taking necessary measures to safeguard the interests of Chinese enterprises.

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