Chinese State Media: TikTok Owner Vows to Sue ‘Modern-Day Pirate’ Trump
( Breitbart )
Chinese state media reported on Friday, with no small amount of nationalist glee, that the owner of controversial video blogging platform TikTok plans to file suit against President Donald Trump for threatening to ban TikTok in the United States with an executive order.
The Chinese reports were long on breathless invective and fairly short on details, such as what venue the ByteDance software company might choose to file its lawsuit and what its guiding legal theory might be.
The state-run Global Times, for example, began by describing Trump’s executive order as a “white-knuckle move that has led analysts to label him a modern-day pirate.”
Later in the article, these were revealed to be nameless “Chinese analysts” who said the “crackdown on premium Chinese assets amounts to robbery.” Later still, those nameless Chinese analysts were boiled down to a single individual, research fellow Bai Ming of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, who suggested Trump wants to pillage TikTok to make up for a U.S. “budget shortfall” due to the coronavirus.
As always, the Global Times pretended to be unaware of the serious security issues raised about TikTok, presenting it as a simple black-and-white tale of protectionism and jealousy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) editorialists said the success of TikTok “made it a big thorn in the back of U.S. regulators.”
They portrayed the ban as alternately an “unscrupulous” effort to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to Microsoft, or a “hostile” attempt to kneecap TikTok while Facebook rolls out a “copycat” product called Reels.
Those familiar with China’s long history of using regulations to commit precisely those offenses against foreign products may take some satisfaction from the CCP howling in outrage over receiving the same treatment. The Global Times, of course, displayed no hint of self-awareness, concluding its article by saying the Chinese government “urges the US to correct its wrongdoings, and to stop politicizing economic issues, cease cracking down on related firms, and provide a fair, just and non-discriminative environment for businesses from all countries.”
The Global Times quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry warning on Friday that the United States will “eventually taste the bitter fruit of choosing self-interest over market principles and international rules, which will only lead to the decline of morality, national image, and international trust.”
“The U.S. frequently uses national security as an excuse to abuse state power and groundlessly clamp down on related firms, a shameless act of hegemony, and China resolutely opposes it,” the Foreign Ministry said.