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U.S. TikTok move unfair: Russian foreign ministry

U.S. efforts to clamp down on popular short video-sharing app TikTok are an “egregious” example of unfair economic competition for U.S. dominance in the international information space, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Saturday.

“The actions of the U.S. authorities run counter to the basic principles of a free market economy and violate rules of the World Trade Organization,” Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the foreign ministry’s website.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order banning any U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firm ByteDance, owner of TikTok, starting 45 days from then.

Washington has also threatened to ban TikTok’s business in the United States if it is not sold to a U.S. company before Sept. 15.

These restrictions have violated a wide range of Washington’s international obligations to ensure the free and wide distribution of information, the free choice of its sources, and to encourage cooperation in this area, Zakharova said.

She said that Moscow is calling on Washington to reconsider its methods to preserve the monopoly of U.S. IT giants in international social networks and ensure they meet generally accepted values and international legal norms.

“We hope that specialized international structures and human rights organizations will react appropriately and give an impartial assessment of these actions,” she added.

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