China will firmly oppose a forced sale of TikTok, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday, adding that the sale or divestiture of TikTok is subject to Chinese laws.
"Forcing a sale of TikTok will seriously damage the confidence of investors from all over the world, including China, to invest in the United States," said Shu Jueting, a spokesperson for MOFCOM. "If the news is true, China will firmly oppose it," she said.
"The sale or divestiture of TikTok involves technology export, which must be subject to administrative licensing procedures in accordance with Chinese laws, and the Chinese government will make a decision in accordance with laws," she added.
Shu made the remarks shortly before TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before a congressional committee Thursday in Washington.
The widely popular app, owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, has more than 150 million users in the U.S. The idea to force the company to sell to a U.S. firm first surfaced during the Trump administration.
Recently, the U.S. has again cited national security concerns to demand that its Chinese parent company to sell their stakes in the social media company or potentially face a ban.
"China always believes that data security should not be used as a tool to abuse the national security concept and state power to hobble foreign companies," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said last Thursday.
"The U.S. has yet to prove with evidence that TikTok threatens its national security," Wang noted, adding that it should stop spreading disinformation about data security, stop suppressing relevant companies, and provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for foreign businesses to invest and operate in the U.S.