The United States government is increasing pressure on China and the country’s technology companies by preparing to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from app stores.

According to a Reuters report Monday, the Trump administration said yesterday that it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from app stores.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said expanded US efforts on a program it calls ‘Clean Network’ would focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese apps, as well as Chinese telecoms companies, from accessing sensitive information on American citizens and businesses.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told state-owned news agency Xinhua that the US “has no right” to set up the Clean Network., calling Washington’s actions “a textbook case of bullying”.

He added:

Anyone can see through clearly that the intention of the US is to protect its monopoly position in technology and to rob other countries of their proper right to development.

The development arrives hot on the heels of the latest moves by the Trump administration, which took aim at two popular Chinese short-video sharing software TikTok, which achieved worldwide recognition in just a few months, and the messenger app WeChat.

The US government called both apps “significant threats” to national security.

“With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat and others are significant threats to personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for Chinese Communist Party content censorship,” Pompeo was quoted as saying.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance must either sell its US operations to Microsoft by September 15 or face an outright ban.