17:07 GMT01 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - By banning US transactions with the Chinese owner of the popular video app TikTok Washington is trying to give US tech giants an upper hand as they chase a deal to take over the firm's global business, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Saturday.

    "The groundless ban on American citizens who are not allowed to engage with TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance amid an aggressive drive for the social network's sale to American corporations is another flagrant example of unfair competition for dominance in the global infoscape," Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

    She said the ban would violate "a wide range of Washington's international commitments to guarantee access to free and diverse media, an unfettered right to choose sources of information and promoting relevant cooperation."

    The ban would also be in breach of the World Trade Organization's norms and free-market competition guidelines, Zakharova said. She added that the US invoking national security to force a Chinese company into being taken over sounded "particularly cynical."

    "We call on Washington to reconsider its ways of ensuring that American IT giants maintain their monopoly in the international social media segment and bring its methods in line with widely recognized democratic values and international legal norms," she said.

    The administration of President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Thursday that would ban people and entities in the United States from dealing with China-based ByteDance, citing national security concerns.

    Maria Zakharova, TikTok, United States, Russia
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