China will “resolutely oppose” any efforts by the US to force the sale of TikTok, according to their Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting.
The social media platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Congress and the Biden administration have been discussing forcing the sale of TikTok or banning the social media platform over concerns that it is a national security risk.
“If the news is true, China will resolutely oppose it,” Shu said, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Shu added that a forced sale “would seriously damage investors from multiple countries including China” and hurt “confidence to invest in the United States.”
The comments from Shu were made just hours before TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was scheduled to appear before congress.
U.S. senators recently unveiled bipartisan legislation to ban the social media app nationwide. The Biden administration has told ByteDance that it can sell the app or risk being banned in the United States.
TikTok has also opposed a ban, claiming that it would violate the free speech rights of millions of Americans who use the platform.
“A U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide. We’re disappointed to see this rushed piece of legislation move forward, despite its considerable negative impact on the free speech rights of millions of Americans who use and love TikTok,” said TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter in a statement earlier this month.
Last year, the commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission urged Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores over an “unacceptable national security risk.” In a letter on June 24, he wrote to Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet Inc. and Google LLC CEO Sundar Pichai about how the app is a “sophisticated surveillance tool.”
“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funning videos or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothing,” Carr asserted in the letter. “At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”