With China continuing to strangle Hong Kongers’ of their freedom of speech and expression, TikTok and Zoom have joined the list of tech giants announcing their exit from the Asian financial hub.
“In light of recent events, we have decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” CNN quoted TikTok spokesperson as saying.
However, it is not known as when will TikTok – owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance — will exit the financial hub.
According to a Hong Kong Free Press report, the US virtual conferences programme Zoom will also be suspending its processing data requests from Hong Kong authorities. “Zoom supports the free and open exchange of thoughts and ideas. We are proud to facilitate meaningful conversations and professional collaboration around the world. We’re actively monitoring the developments in Hong Kong SAR, including any potential guidance from the US government. We have paused processing any data requests from and related to Hong Kong SAR,” a spokesperson for Zoom was quoted as saying.
Besides TikTok and Zoom, Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), WhatsApp and Telegram have announced that they would stop processing Hong Kong government requests for user data.
Beijing drafted and passed the legislation late last month that targets acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison for the most serious offences.
The move came after months of social upheaval triggered by opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill but that morphed into wider demands, including universal suffrage.
In the past few days, the ugly face of national security law was revealed as the pro-China government put a ban on several slogans and annual pro-democarcy march. Besides, several pro-democracy books were stopped from lending and the schools were even ordered to review their book collections and remove titles that may breach the national security law.