China claims US app bans violate WTO rules

Trump ban Chinese Apps Tiktok and Wechat
China has argued attempts by the US government to ban TikTok and WeChat due to national security concerns violate World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
A Chinese WTO representative said the moves to block Chinese apps are “clearly inconsistent with WTO rules, restrict cross-border trading services and violate the basic principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system”, the newspaper stated.

The official said the failure of the US to provide evidence behind the bans, beside merely stating they were to protect national security, was clear abuse of rules, and also applied to India’s ban on dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, in June, SMCP wrote.

Last month, the US government detailed a plan to remove TikTok and WeChat from domestic app stores, following an order for ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to divest its operations in the US.

A US district court, however, last week granted a preliminary injunction against a block on TikTok downloads in the US. A week earlier, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking a similar Department of Commerce order on messaging app WeChat.


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