Trump administration targets WeChat in China app purge


US President Donald Trump wears a mask during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, United States, on July 11, 2020. PHOTO: Reuters

The Trump administration said it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrustworthy” Chinese apps from US digital networks, calling the Chinese-owned short video app TikTok and messaging app WeChat “significant threats.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said expanding US efforts in a program he calls “Clean Web” would focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese applications, as well as Chinese telecommunications companies, access confidential information about US citizens and businesses.

Pompeo’s announcement comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok. The popular video-sharing app has come under fire from US lawmakers and the administration for national security concerns, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

“With the parent companies based in China, applications such as TikTok, WeChat and others are major threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) content censorship tools,” Pompeo said.

In an interview with the state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the United States “has no right” to establish the “Clean Net” and calls Washington’s actions “a case. of bullying textbook “.

“Anyone can clearly see that the US intention is to protect its monopoly position in technology and rob other countries of their right to development,” Wang said.

TikTok is currently facing a September 15 deadline to sell its US operations to Microsoft or face a total ban.

Tech Central

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