Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Reaction in Beijing has been fierce to the Trump's administration move for the owners of China-based video-sharing app TikTok to sell to Microsoft, with some comparing it to "robbery" and "theft."
TikTok has an estimated 100 million users in the United States, but officials worry that users' personal information could be accessible by the Chinese government.
State-run China Daily wrote the proposed sale would amount to "theft" and a "smash and grab" effort and denounced the U.S. administration for "bullying" Chinese tech companies.
"Since 2017, the United States has investigated [TikTok] parent company] ByteDance over its acquisition of a social media app ... which was fully rebranded as part of TikTok in 2018. Yet the White House has found no evidence indicating violation of any regulations by the Chinese company," added state-run Xinhua.
"By slapping a deadline on the potential deal, Trump has effectively turned transaction into a fire sale, further pressuring Beijing-based ByteDance to give up its business interests and intellectual property at a discounted rate," the state-run Global Times wrote.
Trump said the U.S. Treasury Department should also receive a substantial cut from any deal for TikTok, because it created conditions for the sale.
"This is an open robbery," Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin tweeted. "The world is watching and God is watching how President Trump is turning the once great America into a rogue country."
Xinhua wrote that the national security grounds cited for the proposed U.S. ban is an "excuse widely used to discriminate against Chinese companies and investment."
Vanessa Pappas, the U.S. general manager for TikTok, said the company has received an "outpouring from support" since Trump proposed the ban.
"We're not planning on going anywhere," she said. "When it comes to safety and security, we're building the safest app because we know it's the right thing to do. We're here for the long run."