BEIJING — China’s government has criticized the United States for using “so-called national security” as a reason to block a Chinese billionaire’s acquisition of money transfer service MoneyGram.

A Commerce Ministry spokesman said Thursday e-commerce tycoon Jack Ma’s proposed purchase was a “normal commercial investment.” The deal was called off last week after failing to win approval from a U.S. government security panel.

The spokesman, Gao Feng, said, “we regret to note that normal commercial investment and mergers and acquisitions conducted by Chinese enterprises in the United States are once again hindered by so-called ‘national security’.”

Gao said Beijing has no objection to a “normal security review” but worries other governments use them as an excuse to set up barriers to unfairly stop unwanted activity.

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