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TikTok Withdraws Operations from Hong Kong Due To New National Security Law

WORLDWIDE NEWS - Kevin Douglas Article

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TikTok, which is owned by China-based tech company ByteDance, says it will end operations of the short-form video app in Hong Kong “in light of recent events.” A sweeping national security law recently came into effect in Hong Kong, providing police with the power to force internet companies to assist with investigations. Last week, Tik Tok was one of 59 Chinese apps banned in India, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is “certainly looking at a ban.”

According to Reuters Newswire, the short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has made the decision to exit the region following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

“In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” a TikTok spokesman said in response to a Reuters question about its commitment to the market.

The company, now run by former Walt Disney Co executive Kevin Mayer, has said in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China.

TikTok has also said previously that it would not comply with any requests made by the Chinese government to censor content or for access to TikTok’s user data, nor has it ever been asked to do so.

The Hong Kong region is a small, loss-making market for the company, one source familiar with the matter said. Last August, TikTok reported it had attracted 150,000 users in Hong Kong.