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China says the new US order is misusing national security to hurt commercial competitors

Thursday 7 January 2021 11:13 CET | News

China’s government has accused Washington of misusing national security as an excuse to hurt commercial competitors after President Donald Trump signed an order banning transactions with payment services Alipay and WeChat Pay and six other apps, according to The Associated Press.

Trump’s order cites unspecified concerns about apps collecting Americans’ personal and financial data and turning it over to China’s communist government. The order escalated a conflict with Beijing over technology, security and spying accusations that has plunged US-Chinese relations to their lowest level in decades. It followed confusion in financial markets after the New York Stock Exchange announced last week it would remove three Chinese phone companies and then withdrew that plan Monday.

Chinese smartphone apps face similar opposition in neighbouring India, which has blocked dozens of them on security grounds amid a military standoff over a disputed section of border between the two countries.

Alipay is part of the financial platform Ant Group. WeChat Pay is operated by rival tech giant Tencent. The others named in the order are CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office.

The Trump administration also has imposed curbs on access to US technology for Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei and some other companies. A November order bans American investors from buying securities issued by companies deemed to be linked to China’s military.

US tech companies worry Beijing might retaliate by making it more difficult to do business in the world’s second-largest economy.

Trump administration officials indicated they hadn’t consulted with the president-elect’s team before the latest order.


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Keywords: China, Donald Trump, Alipay, WeChat Pay, mobile apps, Tencent, conflict
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: United States
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