China and US flags are seen near a TikTok logo in this illustration picture taken July 16, 2020. [File photo/Agencies]
Washington's attempt to purge the United States of Chinese high-tech companies continues apace, with US President Donald Trump saying on Saturday during a news conference that he was "looking into" whether Chinese technology giant Alibaba should be banned in the US.
That possibility comes hard on the heels of his executive order on Friday that ByteDance, the owner of short-video sharing app TikTok, divest its US operations within 90 days, on the grounds that there was "credible evidence" TikTok might "impair the national security of the United States" — although, as ever, none was forthcoming to support this allegation.
The latest executive order came a week after his executive order banning US companies from conducting business transactions with ByteDance within 45 days. A separate executive order bans any transaction that is related to WeChat, the most-used messaging system in the world that is owned by the Chinese company Tencent.
Given the pace of the current negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft, insiders say it is impossible to finish the transaction and "destroy all the data" tied to US users within 90 days.
The latest order concerning TikTok and the admission that the administration is casing the joint of other successful Chinese tech companies are just further evidence that the US administration despite its claims to be cleansing the US of security threats is simply committed to breaking and entering Chinese tech companies.
With a number of Chinese tech companies having developed into world-class players comparable to their US counterparts, the US administration is clearly intent on mugging them as part of its stand-and-deliver "America first" agenda.
What the US administration wants is by no means a "clean internet" but an internet that has only US genes. Its self-proclaimed efforts to safeguard data security are only blasting points for it to get into the virtual vaults of these Chinese companies and so extend the US hegemony in cyberspace.
Its claim to be protecting privacy and the individual liberties of citizens is nothing but a high-sounding pretext to cover up its shadowy online presence and the online transgressions of US corporations and government agencies.
Beijing will never sit with folded arms while Washington ransacks its corporations. Although it is not Beijing's intention to escalate the tensions, Washington will reap what it sows if it continues with its heists and holdups of successful Chinese enterprises.