TikTok is reportedly set to exit the Hong Kong market "within days", a TikTok spokesperson has told both Reuters and CNN.
The news, first reported by Reuters out of the US late Monday (July 6), quotes the spokesperson as saying "in light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong".
The report follows the recent passage of China's broad new national security law for Hong Kong enabling authorities to limit political dissent. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp have temporarily halted all government data requests from Hong Kong while they review the new law and its sweeping legal implications.
TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance and led by former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer, has faced scrutiny over its relationship with Chinese authorities. It has maintained its data centres are not based in China and that it does not provide the Chinese government with access to user data. This issue is at the heart of its recent ban in India, its biggest international market.
The popular short-video sharing app was designed to operate separately from Douyin, ByteDance's primary sharing app for short videos in China. The report stated there were no plans immediately to bring Douyin to the Hong Kong market.
A Reuters source claimed TikTok's move was spurred by the lack of clarity over whether Hong Kong fell now "entirely" under Chinese jurisdiction.
Campaign has reached out directly to TikTok for comment.
A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific.
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