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The application, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has become embroiled in an ongoing standoff between the United States and China. The Trump administration claims that the app provides user data to the Chinese government, a claim TikTok denies. The US has threatened to ban the app on 15 September if its owner doesn’t sell it to a US company. The US move against TikTok is a dangerous precedent that may eventually kill the Internet, founder of the Telegram messaging application Pavel Durov said. In a statement posted on his account on Telegram, the Russian entrepreneur warned that Washington’s attempts to force ByteDance to sell its application to a US company is a strategy that is used by authoritarian regimes. "The problem with the US-TikTok case is that it legitimises an extortion tactic previously employed only by authoritarian regimes. For decades, the US has been perceived as the defender of free trade and free speech. But now that China has started to replace them as the main beneficiary of global trade, the US (or at least the Trump administration) seems to have become less enthusiastic about those values. This is regrettable, because billions of people on this planet still like the idea of an open and interconnected world", Durov wrote. The 35-year-old noted that soon every major country is likely to use national security as a pretext to ban tech companies. "Ironically, it’s the US companies like Facebook or Google that are likely to lose the most from the fallout", Durov wrote. His statement comes two days after US President Donald Trump threatened to block TikTok in the United States, where it has 80 million users, unless the application’s owner, ByteDance, sells it to an American company.

Moreover, Trump has insisted that the US government should get a large percentage from the potential deal, because "we’re making it possible". The Trump administration maintains that TikTok poses a threat to US national security, alleging that the company snoops on its users at the behest of Chinese authorities, a claim that both TikTok and Beijing deny. The dispute over the video application is part of a broader standoff between China and the United States on issues like trade, the coronavirus pandemic, human rights, and Hong Kong.
Story & pic via sputniknews