NYT moving part of Hong Kong news operation to Seoul amid crackdown fears

NYT moving part of Hong Kong news operation to Seoul amid crackdown fears
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The New York Times is moving part of its Hong Kong bureau to Seoul, South Korea, amid concerns over China’s new national security law, the newspaper announced Tuesday.

The law passed by China in June has taken aim at opposition and pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong. The move has made it difficult for Times reporters to obtain work permits, which is common in mainland China but not typically an issue in Hong Kong.

On Tuesday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE announced he signed legislation that would impose mandatory sanctions on individuals and businesses that assist China in restricting Hong Kong’s autonomy. He also announced an executive order declaring that the U.S. would treat Hong Kong as part of mainland China.

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Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous state, has served as a base for the Times’s Asia operations for decades. The bureau is one of the newspaper's three major headquarters, including London and New York.

“China’s sweeping new national security law in Hong Kong has created a lot of uncertainty about what the new rules will mean to our operation and our journalism,” the Times editors who oversee the paper’s international coverage and operations wrote in a memo to staff on Tuesday. “We feel it is prudent to make contingency plans and begin to diversify our editing staff around the region.”

The bureau’s digital department, which is about one-third of the staff, will move to Seoul while the rest will remain in Hong Kong to cover the region. 

The newspaper also produces their international print edition from Hong Kong. Print production and advertising staff are also expected to stay in the city.