Beijing rips Trump order banning transactions with 8 Chinese apps
A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday accused the U.S. of “bullying” in response to the Trump administration’s move to ban transactions with several apps owned by Chinese firms.
The Associated Press reported that Hua Chunying told reporters that the administration’s claims that it was protecting national security were hypocritical, given U.S. intelligence-gathering methods.
“This is another example of the U.S.’s bullying, arbitrary and hegemonic behavior,” said Hua, according to the AP. “This is an example of the United States over-generalizing the concept of national security and abusing its national power to unreasonably suppress foreign companies.”
“This is like a gangster who wantonly steals but then clamors to be protected from robbery,” Hua continued. “How hypocritical and ridiculous it is.”
An executive order signed by President Trump on Tuesday banned transactions with Alipay, WeChat Pay and six other apps, arguing that they would allow China’s government access to U.S. consumers’ private information.
“The United States has assessed that a number of Chinese connected software applications automatically capture vast swaths of information from millions of users in the United States, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information, which would allow the [People’s Republic of China] and [Chinese Communist Party] access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” read the order.
The move built on Trump’s order last August, which has since stalled due to court action, banning transactions with the popular app TikTok’s owner, ByteDance. The Trump administration banned transactions with TenCent Holdings, which owns WeChat, at the same time.
“I stand with President Trump’s commitment to protecting the privacy and security of Americans from threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, and the Department of Commerce will leverage the authorities of the E.O. to continue our mission to secure the nation, the economy, and the people of the United States,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.