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China: US bans on WeChat and TikTok in violation of WTO rules

BEIJING told a closed-door meeting of World Trade Organisation that US attempts to ban WeChat and TikTok are violations of WTO rules, reports London's Financial Times

08 October 2020 - 19:00

BEIJING told a closed-door meeting of World Trade Organisation that US attempts to ban WeChat and TikTok are violations of WTO rules, reports London's Financial Times.

Two separate US federal courts blocked bans on these apps in September, granting preliminary injunctions for different reasons.



Both rulings indicated that the government had not provided adequate proof that the apps were a threat to national security - the impetus for both being banned by the Trump administration.



A representative for China said during the meeting that the actions 'are clearly inconsistent with WTO rules, restrict cross-border trading services and violate the basic principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system,' according to what a trade official familiar with the matter.



The official added that China said that the US failed to provide concrete evidence for the action it was taking, a 'clear abuse' of the rules.



China is likely seeking relief from the WTO after finding success with the global trade body in September, when a panel ruled that Trump administration tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods were illegal.



While the ruling would allow China to apply retaliatory tariffs on the US, the Trump administration could simply take the ruling to an appeals court for a final determination.



The problem is that the court is essentially non-functional because two of its last three judges' terms expired and were not replaced by the administration, making it a non-functioning body as of this moment.


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