China Media Accuses U.S. of 'Stick-Ups' As Trump Mulls Next Tech Target

Chinese state media has hit out at President Donald Trump's administration for its campaign against Beijing-backed technology companies. It threatened retaliation, days after the president said he was looking into the possibilities of banning giant e-commerce firm Alibaba from the U.S. market.

Alibaba—with its $72 billion revenue this year—could be next to join ByteDance and Huawei on the Trump target list. The administration and the GOP are considering how the U.S. can decouple with China amid a nadir in bilateral relations and recognition that Beijing poses the next great strategic threat to American hegemony.

The administration is currently pushing for Chinese startup ByteDance to sell its TikTok app operations, citing national security concerns over the app's collection of data belonging to American users. Asked Saturday if the U.S. was planning action against other Chinese firms like Alibaba, the president replied: "Well, we're looking at other things, yes."

The TikTok furor comes amid an ongoing U.S. push to marginalize tech giant Huawei from nascent 5G networks in allied nations. This is one of the companies that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has branded "Trojan horses" for the Chinese Communist Party, used to gain access to American markets, infrastructure and user data.

Chinese state media has been at the forefront of Beijing's pushback. On Monday, the China Daily newspaper—owned by the CCP's propaganda department—published an editorial condemning what it called U.S. "stick-ups" of Chinese businesses.

"The administration is casing the joint of other successful Chinese tech companies," China Daily claimed, suggesting that the government's claim to be protecting national security is merely a cover for a commitment "to breaking and entering Chinese tech companies."

"With a number of Chinese tech companies having developed into world-class players comparable to their U.S. counterparts, the U.S. administration is clearly intent on mugging them as part of its stand-and-deliver 'America first' agenda," China Daily added.

Pompeo said earlier this month that he wants to create a "clean" internet, to protect "citizens' privacy and our companies' most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party."

But China Daily claimed this commitment is merely a way "to get into the virtual vaults of these Chinese companies and so extend the U.S. hegemony in cyberspace."

"Its claim to be protecting privacy and the individual liberties of citizens is nothing but a high-sounding pretext to cover up its shadowy online presence and the online transgressions of U.S. corporations and government agencies," the editorial added.

"Beijing will never sit with folded arms while Washington ransacks its corporations," China Daily warned.

"Although it is not Beijing's intention to escalate the tensions, Washington will reap what it sows if it continues with its heists and holdups of successful Chinese enterprises."

China, US, Alibaba, state media, DOnald Trump
This picture taken in Paris on November 15, 2019 shows the logo of the Chinese multinational e-commerce firm Alibaba group on a smartphone screen. LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty