TikTok to leave Hong Kong market within days
NEW YORK (US) – TikTok will leave the Hong Kong market within days, a spokesman told late on Monday, as other technology companies including Facebook Inc have put on hold processing of the government requests for user data in the region.
The short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has decided to leave the region following China’s declaration of a new national security law for the partly autonomous city.
A TikTok spokesman said about its commitment to the market, “In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong.”
The company, now run by former Walt Disney Co executive Kevin Mayer, has divulged in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China.
TikTok has also earlier said that it would not go by any requests made by the Chinese government to censor content or to access TikTok’s user data. They added that they have never been asked to do so.
Last August, TikTok said it had captured the attention of 150,000 users in Hong Kong.
The app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times through the Apple and Google app stores globally after the first quarter this year, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
The source said that the decision came in the light of sustaining doubts about whether Hong Kong would now fall entirely under Beijing’s jurisdiction.
TikTok was designed in such a way that mainland China could not access the same so as to appeal to a more global audience.
ByteDance operates a similar short video sharing app called Douyin in China.
A ByteDance spokesman said, although there are no current plans to introduce Douyin to the Hong Kong market, the app already has a considerable number as audience in the Asian financial centre with the Chinese on the mainland travelling and staying in Hong Kong.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.