TikTok, an app for creating and sharing short videos, may be extremely popular with its users, but many in the West believe that the app could be a security threat.
A US think tank recently said that the app could access information of the users in the West and may send it to China, thus violating privacy norms. However, the Chinese state media has now slammed the report and has blamed "US hysterics" for such fears.
An article on the Global Times questioned US' fears and said that the Americans seem to doubt every technology and product that is China-made. "In the perception of some US elites and politicians, the more popular the product, be it TikTok or Huawei, the greater the threat."
The article also asked how the US could be "spooking themselves" and said: "When did Americans' sense of security become so fragile? It seems that all Chinese high-tech innovations and products gaining worldwide popularity are seen as security threats.
"Are they spooking themselves with their own imagination? Should they check all the China-made electronics they are using?"
The Global Times article also spoke about a recent report in the Washington Post, which said that China-made metro rail car could snoop on the Pentagon and White House officials, and said that the US must provide solid and substantial proof before making such accusations.
The article went on to say these doubts could be a "Huawei-sized problem," referring to the recent fallout between the US and China in regard to the arrest of the tech giant's CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada. After the December 1 arrest, a Canada Justice department official had said that Wanzhou was arrested on behalf of the US and that the US Department of Justice had opened the investigation in April and was probing if the telecommunications brand sold gear to Iran despite a ban on exports to the region.
The US has been voicing concerns about Huawei operations since 2016, claiming that the brand could install back doors in their equipment, which would, in turn, let them monitor users of the device in the US. Even though the brand had categorically denied these allegations, the Pentagon had stopped providing Huawei devices to its armed forces and retailer Best Buy too stopped the sale of Huawei products.
Even now, the US intelligence reportedly doubts that Huawei allows Chinese government to use its devices to spy on Americans, something that the brand has refuted. Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, on January 15 too said that the brand has never and would never spy for Beijing.
"No law requires any company in China to install mandatory back doors," Zhengfei added.