Topics : TikTok on Monday stepped up its defense against US accusations that the popular video app is a national security threat, denouncing what it called “rumors and misinformation” about its links to the Chinese government.The video-snippet sharing service launched an online information hub as its Chinese parent firm faced a deadline set by President Donald Trump to divest TikTok before the app is banned in the United States.On a web page titled “The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet,” TikTok maintained it was setting the record straight about the platform. As tensions soar between the world’s two biggest economies, Trump has claimed TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.The US leader early this month also ordered a ban on the messaging app WeChat which is used extensively in China.On Friday, Trump signed a separate executive order for ByteDance to sell its interest in Musical.ly, the app it bought and merged with TikTok in 2017, citing national security.TikTok said the US action “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth.”TikTok also repeated its intention to “pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded.”China meanwhile Monday slammed Washington for using “digital gunboat diplomacy” in the TikTok case.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday said TikTok had done everything required by the US, including hiring Americans as its top executives, hosting its servers in the US and making public its source code. But the app has been “unable to escape the robbery through trickery undertaken by some people in the US based on bandit logic and political self-interest,” Zhao said at a regular press conference.TikTok separately Monday announced an alliance with music distribution platform UnitedMasters, playing to budding artists and their fans despite US steps to bar the popular app.The deal to integrate UnitedMasters into TikTok promised to build on a trend of the platform being way for musicians to be discovered by posting short-clip videos.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked,” the company said in the post.”Any insinuation to the contrary is unfounded and blatantly false.”US user data is stored here, with a backup in Singapore, according to TikTok.The company, owned by China-based ByteDance, also launched a new @tiktok_comms Twitter account to address issues in real time.
SterlingManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Pep Guardiola has praised Manchester City star Raheem Sterling for refusing to be intimidated by the menace of racism in football.Sterling endured alleged racial abuse from a Chelsea fan during City’s 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.The 24-year-old was targeted by the supporter while he was standing near fans on the touchline.Sterling appeared to laugh off the shocking incident at the time, but the abuse has drawn widespread condemnation amid fears the sport is being dragged back to the dark ages of the 1970s and 1980s when racism was rife.The England winger later accused the media of fuelling racism in the way it reports certain stories about black players.And former England assistant coach Gary Neville revealed this week that Sterling complained during Euro 2016 of constant criticism from fans that carried racist undertones.Speaking for the first time since the Chelsea incident, City manager Guardiola backed Sterling and hailed his decision to speak out on the controversy.“I was concerned with what happened but he made a statement on Instagram and was quite clear about his thoughts,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.“He’s an incredible person, an incredible human being.“It’s tough in the 21st century to still be in this position, to have problems with diversity. We have to be better, everyone.”Guardiola believes racism is a deep problem in society, not just football, and insisted more must be done to combat it.“It’s everywhere, racism is everywhere. People focus on football but it’s not just in football. You’d think in football we’d be safe but racism is everywhere,” he said.“What happens today – how we treat immigrants and refugees, when once in our lives our grandfathers were refugees. It’s everywhere. That’s why we have to fight every day. “We have to fight for human rights to make a better society for the future. Today it’s dangerous, not just in England, all across Europe.“The message for the politicians is for them to be tough on human rights and we have to defend democracy in the best way.”– Real power –Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola also pointed out the media has a crucial role to play in keeping racism in check.“Today the real power is the media, not politicians, not the governments. It’s the media,” he said.The Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into the Stamford Bridge incident, while Chelsea have suspended four supporters.“I appreciate what Chelsea did,” Guardiola said. “If it happened in my club we should do the same.”Guardiola, whose side host Hoffenheim in the Champions League on Wednesday, made it clear comments about players should restricted to performances on the field rather than straying into foul abuse.“Hopefully the criticism is when he plays s***, he plays bad. That would be perfect. Everyone is exposed to that – the managers, the players, everyone around the world,” he said.“But just for the colour of his skin? Believe me, that’s ridiculous and that’s why everyone has to protect from that situation.”Sterling’s team-mate Leroy Sane also believes the former Liverpool player has shown great dignity in dealing with the abuse.“I think it’s sad this happens still. We all support Raheem and are on his side,” Sane said.“He is a strong guy, a good guy. He can handle it and he is not letting it get him down.Share on: WhatsApp