Japanese lawmakers seek tougher regulations on Chinese-made apps


A group of ruling party lawmakers plan to call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to restrict the use in Japan of apps developed by Chinese companies due to security concerns.

Akira Amari, who heads the Liberal Democratic Party group on regulatory policy, said Japan must prevent personal data from leaking via applications originating from China, alluding to video-sharing app TikTok, a wildly popular Chinese-owned app among youths in Japan and elsewhere.

The push to curb the use of Chinese-owned apps follows similar moves abroad. India banned TikTok along with 58 other applications last month, while U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is mulling whether it should follow suit.

TikTok, which lets users upload short videos set to music, is a hit among young people and has grown popular as a way to pass the time amid the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year it surpassed 2 billion downloads, according to estimates by SensorTower Inc.

But there are concerns that the app's owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, could pass on data it collects to the Chinese government.

"When looking at IT devices and software in this day and age, we have to be even more aware of how information is being collected and used," Amari told reporters after the LDP group held a meeting in Tokyo.

The lawmakers plan to submit a set of recommendations to the government, including the addition of wording regarding national security concerns to the existing telecommunications law.

The United States and its allies have stepped up their criticism of the authoritarian Chinese government following the implementation of a new national security law in Hong Kong, a move feared to erode human rights and freedoms.

Under China's "one country, two systems" policy, Hong Kong was promised it would enjoy the rights and freedoms of a semiautonomous region for 50 years following the former British colony's return to Chinese rule in 1997.

There have been calls from within the LDP, of which Abe is leader, to retract Japan's invitation for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit as a state guest, citing the Hong Kong issue and Beijing's increased claims over a group of Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea.


©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I think America spying through apps and social media more worthy of their attention

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

About time.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think America spying through apps and social media more worthy of their attention

People would rather trust American spying that china spying.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

alluding to video-sharing app TikTok, a wildly popular Chinese-owned app among youths in Japan and elsewhere

The way to wean Japanese youths away from these communist china spy apps is for JAPANESE app developers to come up with their own apps that are as equally enticing or more so.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


It's hardly just the youth in Japan. It's the whole world that needs to be weaned off Chinese apps.

"According to Apptrace, the TikTok app is currently available in 141 countries. It is in the top 25 overall in 135 of these countries."


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chyna, Chyna, Chyna. China is just late to the game America started. If governments don't crack down on allied government and corporations spying on YOU, then there is always going to be cracks for non-allied spy software.

But before Edward Snowden most people were insisting claims of government spying were unfounded "conspiracy theory", or saying surely its all benign if its real. Put your brainwashing aside for a moment and realize that domestic enemies are actually more dangerous than foreign ones.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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