China opposes U.S. orders against TikTok, WeChat, to defend interests

A logo of Chinese tech firm Tencent, owner of messaging app WeChat, is pictured in Beijing, China August 7, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry firmly opposes executive orders announced by U.S. President Donald Trump banning U.S. transactions with the Chinese owners of messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok, Beijing said on Friday.

Beijing will defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses and the United States would have to bear the consequences of its actions, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters during a daily briefing, without giving details.

“The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That’s just a hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that,” he said.

The U.S. executive orders, which will be effective in 45 days, come after the Trump administration announced its efforts to purge "untrusted" Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called WeChat, controlled by Tencent Holdings Ltd 0700.HK, and ByteDance's TikTok "significant threats."

Wang said that the United States was sacrificing the interests of users and companies and engaging in political manipulation and oppression, adding that it “will only lose its moral high ground with a damaged image and a deficit of trust”.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alexander Smith