TikTok announces that it will no longer offer its social video app in Hong Kong after the region has passed a new national security law that grants the Chinese government on the mainland enhanced powers. "Given recent events, we have decided to stop operating the TikTok app in Hong Kong," said a spokesman tells Axios.
Global technology companies operating in Hong Kong have raised concerns that the new law could force them to comply with China's draconian censorship standards and possibly send user data to the mainland. Google, Facebook and Twitter have already stopped processing requests for user data by the Hong Kong government.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a large Chinese internet company. However, efforts were made to distinguish the western app from its mother app and Douyin, the Chinese version of the platform. While TikTok has long argued that it will never share data with the Chinese government, the new Hong Kong law would likely have undermined the company's case if it had continued to operate in the region.
TikTok continues to be audited in the United States and beyond. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tonight Fox said that the government "certainly" is considering banning TikTok and various other Chinese social media apps. TikTok, along with dozens of other Chinese apps, was banned in India last week due to increasing tensions between countries.