TikTok stopping operations in Hong Kong

TikTok stopping operations in Hong Kong
© getty

TikTok announced Tuesday that it will cease all operations in Hong Kong, citing the new national security law put in place by China that strips the semi-autonomous state of many of the freedoms that it was promised as part of its handover from the United Kingdom.

The new law allows Hong Kong authorities to ask social media platforms for user data and request that certain posts be taken down, something that sparked pushback from all of the social media giants.

TikTok — the popular short-video platform — is owned by Chinese internet giant Bytedance, but has actively tried to separate itself from Beijing's policies. It has said that all of its servers are located in the U.S. and that it wouldn't remove content if asked to do so by the Chinese government, The Associated Press noted.


Still, the app is viewed as a security risk, with the Trump administration signaling Monday that it could be banned.

Other industry mainstays, including Google, Twitter, Facebook and its messaging platform WhatsApp, have said they are halting reviews of government requests for user data in Hong Kong.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUPDATED: Pompeo's son raised 'hackathon' event in email to State Department Pompeo: US citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on passports The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE lambasted the new national security law, calling it "Orwellian."

"Until now, Hong Kong flourished because it allowed free thinking and free speech, under an independent rule of law," Pompeo said in a statement.  "No more.  The United States condemns Beijing’s repeated failure to live up to its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and these latest assaults on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong."