US President Donald Trump said he is considering banning the wildly popular video-sharing app TikTok as a way to punish China on the coronavirus pandemic, remarks China described Wednesday as “a malicious smear”, AFP reports.
TikTok has been caught up in the escalating disputes between your United States and China, with the Chinese-owned firm accused of acting as a spying tool for Beijing — an allegation it denies.
“It’s something we’re looking at,” Trump said within a TV interview on Tuesday when asked about a possible ban, based on Bloomberg News.
“It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”
Trump didn’t provide any details, and told Gray Television that it was “one of many” options that he was considering against China, Bloomberg added.
The United States could be the country worst-hit by the herpes virus, which the American president has blamed on poor management and deficiencies in transparency in China — which has rejected the allegation.
“The remarks made by some politicians in the US are totally groundless and a malicious smear,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday when asked about Trump’s comments on TikTok and China’s role in the pandemic.
“The Chinese government has always asked Chinese businesses to conduct cooperation overseas on the basis of law and compliance,” that he told a normal press briefing.
Trump’s comments came per day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the federal government was taking a look at banning Chinese apps — including TikTok — over espionage concerns.