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Chinese App TikTok to exit Hong Kong market amid controversial security law

TikTok has said that it will exit the Hong Kong market ‘within days’ after China implemented the controversial security law in the city.

The short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has made the decision to exit the region after various tech giants decided to suspend processing government requests for user data in the region.

READ: Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google and Telegram decide to ‘PAUSE’ sharing of user information to Hong Kong authorities

TikTok has also said previously that it would not comply with any requests made by the Chinese government to censor content or for access to TikTok’s user data, nor has it ever been asked to do so.

National Security Law:

The law came into force on 30th June, night 11pm with four categories of offences – secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.

The punishment varies between a life to a three year imprisonment.

‘Anti-nationals’ can be extradited to mainland China from Hong Kong. The law also subverts the Hong Kong judiciary as only Beijing appointed judges can hear such matters.

The law is applicable to entire China including Hong Kong. Even foreign nationals could face action under this law if they are found to be anti-Beijing.

The Hong Kong region is a small, loss-making market for the company. It barely attracted 150,000 users in Hong Kong.

Globally TikTok has clocked over 2 billion downloads in the Apple and Google stores.

Just last week India banned TikTok along with 58 other Chinese applications citing privacy and security reasons.