HONG KONG: TikTok is stopping its popular video snippet-sharing app from working in Hong Kong and will exit the market within days.
The move by TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, came as Facebook, Google and Twitter put a hold on requests by Hong Kong’s government or police force for information on users, following China’s imposition of sweeping new security law.
“In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” TikTok told an international news agency.
The short form video app has made the decision to exit the region following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.
TikTok has consistently denied sharing any user data with authorities in China, and has been adamant it did not intend to agree to such requests. The company expects to take several days to wind-down app operations in Hong Kong.
The company, now run by former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer, has said in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China.
TikTok has become a global sensation with users sharing 15 to 60-second video clips on everything from hair dye tutorials to dance routines and gags about daily life.
It joined the EU’s disinformation code of conduct last week as tech giants seek to persuade Europe to back away from setting laws against harmful content online.