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TikTok is quitting the Hong Kong market over free speech concerns



TikTok says it’s pulling out of the Hong Kong market in the wake of China’s controversial new law that requires internet companies to hand over user data to local authorities. As per Reuters, the video-sharing platform, which is owned by a China-based startup called Bytedance, will exit the app stores “within days.”

“In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” a TikTok spokesperson told Reuters.

TikTok was initially planned as a progressively worldwide side project for areas outside Mainland China. In China itself, Bytedance offers a to a great extent comparable short-structure video-sharing application called Douyin. Bytedance, right now, has no designs to bring Douyin to Hong Kong, the representative included.

While TikTok doesn’t have a noteworthy nearness in Hong Kong with supposedly 150,000 clients a year ago, it despite everything is a basic mishap for an organization that lost its greatest market, India seven days prior. The video-sharing application’s choice to leave Hong Kong comes only days after it was restricted in India, which is home to around a fourth of its clients, over information protection worries among many other Chinese applications.

TikTok said that the organization “hasn’t shared any data of its clients in India with any outside government, including the Chinese government,” in an announcement at that point.

The declaration additionally falls when TikTok is progressively attempting to remove itself from its Chinese roots. That connection has welcomed examination for the video-sharing application around the globe. In the United States, TikTok use has been obstructed in a few government offices including the naval force and armed force, refering to comparable security concerns.

While trying to relieve these worries and pacify specialists outside of Mainland China, TikTok has built up a few new workplaces over the previous year and roped in previous Walt Disney official Kevin Mayer as its CEO.

The new security law, which has placed into impact a week ago on the commemoration of the city’s arrival to Chinese control, smothers free discourse and will conceivably permit China to carry its longstanding corrective web firewalls to Hong Kong. Notwithstanding enabling specialists to bring down web posts, the law can even land workers of tech organizations in prison on the off chance that they won’t agree to demands for client information.

In the course of recent days, tech organizations, for example, Facebook, Google, and Twitter said they’re suspending audits of the Hong Kong government’s solicitation for client information as they survey the effect and subtleties of the new law.

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