TikTok to exit Hong Kong

Move appears related to new security law.

TikTok: has faced scrutiny over relationship with Chinese authorities
TikTok: has faced scrutiny over relationship with Chinese authorities

TikTok is to cease operations in Hong Kong, a company spokesperson has confirmed to Campaign.

The spokesperson said: "In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong."

The news, first reported by Reuters, follows the recent passage of China's broad new national security law for Hong Kong enabling authorities to limit political dissent. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp have temporarily halted all government data requests from Hong Kong while they review the new law and its sweeping legal implications.

TikTok, owned by Chinese parent ByteDance and led by former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, has faced scrutiny over its relationship with Chinese authorities. It has maintained that its data centres are not based in China and that it does not provide the Chinese government with access to user data. This issue is at the heart of its recent ban in India, its biggest international market.

The popular short-video app was designed to operate separately from Douyin, ByteDance's primary sharing app for short videos in China. The Reuters report stated that there were no plans immediately to bring Douyin to Hong Kong.

A Reuters source claimed that TikTok's move was spurred by the lack of clarity over whether Hong Kong now fell "entirely" under Chinese jurisdiction.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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