A trade official said that China announced at a World Trade Organization meeting that restrictions by the United States on Chinese mobile applications TikTok and WeChat are in violation of the body’s rules.

The Trump administration has ordered download blocks on the two mobile apps and ordered ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell its operations to a US company, citing national security concerns.

A representative for China said at the closed-door meeting on Friday that the measures “are clearly inconsistent with WTO rules, restrict cross-border trading services and violate the basic principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system,” a trade official familiar with the matter, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The official added that the representative explained the US failure to provide concrete evidence of the reasons for its measures a “clear abuse” of rules.

The trade official said in the same meeting that the United States defended its actions, saying they are intended to mitigate national security risks.

Previously, the government has said that data from American users is being accessed by the Chinese government. The office of the US Trade Representative had no immediate comment.

The Chinese statement will not have any consequences on its own although China could launch an official legal complaint about it to the Geneva body.

Source: https://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/tiktok-wechat-bans-break-wto-rules-china-2305802

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