It’s becoming a full time job just keeping tabs on how the TikTok story is progressing, with US President Trump throwing his weight around in an attempt to either get the social network banned or under the ownership of a US company.

But China, predictably, isn’t keen on that and with Microsoft considering a purchase, China’s ruling Communist Party says it won’t take all this without a fight.

In fact, it’s calling Microsoft’s efforts to buy TikTok nothing more than “theft,” according to a Reuters report.

The United States’ “bullying” of Chinese tech companies was a consequence of Washington’s zero-sum vision of “American first” and left China no choice but “submission or mortal combat in the tech realm,” the state-backed paper said in an editorial.

China had “plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab,” it added.

As many people have pointed out, if China does intend to retaliate in some way it’s a fairly safe bet that Apple will be at the top of its list in terms of targets. The country has already threatened to put Apple on the Chinese “unreliable entity list” and that could be something it threatens again.

That would then see Chinese citizens warned against buying Apple products and with the company using Chinese companies to supply parts for, and assemble, its products it’s fair to say things could get interesting very quickly indeed.

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