Beijing has passed a new national security law for the autonomous city in Hong Kong, and now some social media platforms find it difficult to operate within the law.
TikTok, one of the most renowned platforms, has considered leaving the Hong Kong market in a few days.
On Monday, the TikTok spokesman said that given the recent events, it has decided to shut down operations in Hong Kong.
The Chinese parliament passed a comprehensive new national security rule last week. The new rule will now create the conditions for the most radical changes in the lifestyle of the former British colony since its return to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
Although TikTok decides to stop the operating of its app in the Hong Kong market, this short-form video app, owned by China’s ByteDance, has been criticized for censorship.
They have been criticized for aligning their content with Beijing’s priorities. They prioritized videos related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
TikTok said apps user data is not stored in China. They also said that they will not respond to any requests for user data from the Chinese government.
And yet the group decides to leave Hong Kong, some sources said they had made losses in the region with around 150,000 users by August last year.
According to the analytic Sensor Tower company, TikTok has been downloaded more than 2b via Apple and Google app stores by the end of April this year.
TikTok was not designed to be used in mainland China to appeal to a more global audience. Therefore, it was only available in Hong Kong.
The version in mainland China is called Douyin and is not accessible to the outside world. According to ByteDance spokesman, no launch on the Hong market is planned.
The surprise is that the Douyin, which is not available to overseas users, has garnered more downloads than TikTok in Hong Kong.
Zhang Nan, the ByteDance China CEO said in a statement that Douyin has gained many users in Hong Kong and will keep on operating there.
Fang Kecheng, who works at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as an assistant professor, said that the separation of TikTok and Douyin unmasked the dilemma that the Chinse companies faced in internationalization, adding that this is inevitable. He added that they had to follow local guidelines and try not to offend the Chinese government and the public.
TikTok was also famous in America before U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said they are working to ban Chinese social media apps.
India has also restricted the operation of the app on its territory, due to growing tensions between neighboring countries over a deadly border skirmish in the Himalayas.
TikTok is not just a social media platform considering leaving the Hong Kong market under the new national security law. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have followed suit and stopped processing government requests for user data in the region.
Lena Wood graduated from John Carroll University in the year 2002. She born and grown up in Dallas but later she moved to Cleveland for Studying. Lena has written for several major publications including Community Newspapers and News Desk. Lena is a community Reporter and also Covers National Topics.